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IRS Office of Professional Responsibility Disbars Return Preparer Accused of Filing False Returns

IR-2012-104, Dec. 31, 2012

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced that its Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) has disbarred a return preparer accused of routinely preparing and filing fraudulent federal tax returns.

Working in tandem with the Department of Justice Tax Division, OPR accepted Benaym Tewolde’s consent to be sanctioned under Circular 230 (Regulations Governing Practice before the IRS) in lieu of pursuing a separate disciplinary proceeding. The discipline agreement prohibits Tewolde from any practice (including tax return preparation) before the IRS for a minimum of five years. His provisional Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) was immediately revoked.

“OPR is pleased with this outcome and is committed to maintaining the integrity of the U.S. tax system at all levels, and in coordination with the Justice Department," said Karen L. Hawkins, Director of the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility. "This settlement agreement is the direct result of OPR's expanded oversight of return preparers under Circular 230, which is part of the IRS' return preparer initiative."

Earlier this year, the Department of Justice Tax Division filed a complaint seeking to permanently prohibit Tewolde from any further federal tax return preparation. The complaint accused him and others of preparing and filing fraudulent returns for inflated refunds. 

The settlement agreement includes a disclosure authorization that allows the IRS to issue this release.

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 03-Dec-2013