As you may know, I am a former IRS Revenue Officer. As a Revenue Officer, I was not allowed to offer any financial services for fees, including preparing tax returns. This was very frustrating because I was one of a very small handful of Revenue Officers that was also a CPA and not being able to make money on the side using my education drove me crrazy. They would be fine with me being a greeter at Walmart, but I couldn’t prepare returns. This is one of the major reasons I left the service to “go to the dark side” as they say and represent taxpayers against the IRS. It has been rewarding beyond my expectations so far. I really appreciate my clients and I love the rewarding feeling I get when I solve their IRS problems. This allows them to sleep better at night and reassures me that I made the right decision.
In working with the IRS on this side of the table, I have worked with several Revenue Officers on behalf of my clients. One thing I have learned is that not all RO groups operate the way mine did. Some of them don’t follow the rules, and others are just downright mean. That never happened to my knowledge in Fort Smith. Nothing feels better than running into one of these rogue RO’s and winning a case against them because they either don’t know their jobs the way they should or just don’t follow the rules. There is no excuse for public servants violating tax laws or being hostile toward taxpayers. Below I am sharing an article written by Michael Cohn about a rogue RO that is accused of several crimes and if convicted will likely spend quite some time in Federal Prison as he should. All credit for this article belongs to Mr. Cohn, and not me.
NEW YORK (MAY 1, 2015)
BY MICHAEL COHN
An Internal Revenue Service revenue officer has been indicted for committing mail and wire fraud, filing false tax returns, identity theft and perjury.
James Brewer, a 38-year-old Staten Island, N.Y., resident who works in the IRS’s Edison, N.J., office, was charged in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in a 28-count indictment that was unsealed Thursday. The charges include seven counts of wire fraud, mail fraud, three counts of subscribing to false federal tax returns, six counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false federal tax returns, ten counts of aggravated identity theft, and perjury. Brewer was assigned to an IRS office in Edison, N.J. He was arrested in Las Vegas and is expected to be arraigned Friday afternoon.
According to the indictment, Brewer operated two outside businesses, contrary to IRS regulations. He prepared tax returns for others in exchange for fees, and he operated a business selling designer clothes, collectable toys, sports memorabilia, and other items on eBay. As part of a scheme to fraudulently reduce his taxable income and increase his tax refunds, Brewer allegedly failed to report any income he received for his unauthorized tax prep business. He also underreported the gross receipts earned from his Internet retail business, and claimed false dependents on federal tax returns he prepared and filed on his own behalf for three tax years.
Brewer also allegedly engaged in a multi-year scheme in which he prepared and filed false tax returns for others. In that business, Brewer listed false dependents and false deductions to fraudulently cause his clients to receive a refund to which they were otherwise not entitled or fraudulently inflate their refunds.
In doing so, Brewer listed the names and Social Security numbers of various people on the tax returns as dependents without their authorization. As part of this scheme, Brewer also diverted a portion of those clients’ refunds to himself, in some cases without his clients’ authorization or knowledge. Finally, in an effort to fraudulently obtain for himself a tax credit for first time homebuyers, Brewer lied under oath about his residency when he testified in a matter in the U.S. Tax Court in New York, New York.
“The crimes alleged in this indictment are very serious. While employed by the IRS to enforce our nation’s tax laws, it is alleged that James Brewer was himself breaking these laws,” said Jonathan D. Larsen, special agent-in-charge of IRS-Criminal Investigation’s Newark Field Office, in a statement. “Today’s indictment underscores our commitment to work in a collaborative effort to promote honest and ethical government at all levels and to prosecute those who allegedly violate the public’s trust.”