SAN ANTONIO - Glenn Kelley has been arrested and charged with preparing false tax returns for several people in the area, resulting in approximately $130,000 in refunds being issued. He's also being charged with destroying records and document to influence the investigation.
He is set to be arraigned in federal court on March 6.
Last year, IRS Criminal Investigation sent 200 abusive tax return preparers to prison.
"You're looking at felony charges that can be brought against you and then these felony charges can result in years in federal prison and serious financial restitution to be ordered to be paid back by the court," said Troy Caldron, supervisory special agent with IRS Criminal Investigation.
The IRS says that 60 percent of taxpayers use a professional to prepare their return and that's why it's especially important this tax season to be vigilant about who you hire.
"Ask if they have some kind of preparer tax identification number, which we call a PTIN, to see if this individual, what their credentials are, to see if your tax return preparer is an enrolled agent with the IRS," Caldron said.
Phone scams are also popular. Veronica Patrol says that she got calls for weeks from various numbers by a man claiming to be from the IRS telling her that she owed them money.
"They were saying, 'We have your number and you owe the IRS money.' And I said, 'I don't owe the IRS anything,'" she recalled.
IRS Criminal Investigations says that if you receive phone calls like that, call the IRS directly and ask about your account. They say that other red flags to look out for are tax preparers asking for a percentage of your refund or preparers who want to deposit your tax refund directly into their own bank account before they give you your money.
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