U.S. Judge Permanently Bars Suffolk County, N.Y., Tax Preparer from Doing Returns for Others

Allegedly Reported Excessive Deductions and Losses on Customers’ Returns; Causing a Loss to Date to the Treasury Exceeding $2.8 Million

WASHINGTON – A federal district judge in New York has permanently barred Howard Levine from preparing federal tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. The court also ordered Levine to provide his customer lists to the government and to mail copies of the court order to his customers.

According to the government complaint, Levine operated a tax return preparation service under the name Milaur Associates in Suffolk County, N.Y. The complaint states that Levine prepared an estimated 7,160 returns for the tax years 2003 through 2007. The Internal Revenue Service can not determine the exact number of returns that Levine prepared during this time period because he did not properly report his employer identification number on the returns that he prepared. Levine reported all Form 1099 income on a customer’s Schedule C, whether or not the customer had a business, and then reported excessive and unsupported expense deductions, thus resulting in a substantial loss to which the customer was not otherwise entitled. In addition, Levine, reported flow-through losses on customers’ Schedule E that were completely fabricated.

Based on its examination results to date, the government estimates that it has incurred losses in excess of $2.8 million.

"The Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service are working vigorously to shut down return preparers who prepare false or fraudulent returns for their customers, and catch those customers who actually filed false or fraudulent returns," said John A. DiCicco, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division.

In the past decade the Tax Division has obtained injunctions against more than 410 tax preparers and tax-fraud promoters. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department Web site.