Former owner of Shreveport tax preparation businesses sentenced on tax fraud charge

 

Date: April 22, 2022

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Shreveport, LA — Latasha Thomas of Crowley, Texas, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court, announced United States Attorney Brandon B. Brown. Thomas was sentenced by United States District Judge Donald E. Walter to 18 months in prison, followed by 1 year of supervised release, for making and subscribing a false tax return. Thomas was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $143,611.

Thomas was the owner and operator of Tax Related, LLC and ASAP Tax Service, LLE, both tax preparation businesses located in Shreveport. She was employed as a Revenue Officer with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for two years prior to opening her own tax preparation businesses. She was also the owner of Kidz World Learning Center and Best & Brightest Preschool Center in Shreveport.

Thomas' primary business was the preparation and electronic filing of individual income tax returns. An investigation by the IRS revealed that Thomas aided and assisted in the preparation of false Forms 1040 for her clients by intentionally creating false Form W-2s to increase the reported income of her clients and she also falsified her personal tax returns. Thomas received the fees for the filing of client's individual tax returns into business accounts in the name of Tax Related, ASAP Tax and another company owned by Thomas, Diamond Elite Corporation. These accounts were opened and primarily maintained by Thomas. She received but did not report $168,297 in fees in 2016 and $139,736 in fees in 2017. Thomas did not file a business return, nor did she include her business income on her personal tax returns for either tax year. Thomas personally prepared her 2016 and 2017 U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns, Forms 1040, which were verified by a written declaration that they were made under penalty of perjury and were purported to be truthful. When in truth and in fact, Thomas made false statements in both returns and the total income was false. In 2016, Thomas only reported total income of $28,202 and failed to report income totaling $168,297 which she received as tax preparation fees, thus making her 2016 taxes due and owing. In 2017, Thomas only reported total income of $17,475 and failed to report income totaling $139,736 which she received as tax preparation fees, thus making her 2017 taxes due and owing.

As part of her plea agreement, Thomas agreed to be permanently enjoined from preparing, assisting, advising, or counseling in the preparation of, or filing federal tax returns for anyone other than herself. She is also prohibited from maintaining any association with a tax preparation business, instructing, teaching or otherwise training any person in the preparation of federal tax returns.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary J. Mudrick.