As the April 15 federal income tax deadline approaches, the Justice Department says it has closed more than 30 unscrupulous tax preparers and tax fraud promoters in the last six months.
They were shuttered for improperly manipulating customers' income, expenses and dependents and for selling customers deceptive loans with exorbitant fees.
Tax preparers handle more than 80 million tax returns annually, and 60 percent of taxpayers hire tax professionals.
Over the last decade, Justice's tax division has obtained injunctions against hundreds of tax-return preparers and tax fraud promoters — both large franchises and small independent preparers.
In a case still under way, the government won a preliminary injunction against ITS Financial LLC, parent company to Dayton, Ohio-based Instant Tax Service, which claims to be the nation's fourth-largest tax preparation firm.