Manhattan U.S. Attorney files civil injunction lawsuit to shut down Bronx tax preparer and his company


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Date: March 5, 2021


Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the filing of a civil complaint against Rafael Alvarez and ATAX New York LLC (ATAX New York) to prohibit them from, among other things, preparing tax returns for others or engaging in activities that substantially interfere with the administration of federal tax laws. The complaint alleges that Alvarez and ATAX New York have prepared and filed fraudulent tax returns on behalf of their customers in order to reduce their customers' tax liability and generate refunds to which those customers were not entitled.

U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: "Tax return preparers who regularly cheat the tax system by preparing fraudulent federal income tax returns for their customers should not be permitted to continue in business. This Office will work with the IRS to shut down return preparers who fleece the Treasury by claiming improper deductions or credits for their customers."

As alleged in the Government's complaint filed in federal district court today:

ATAX New York is a limited liability company that prepares tax returns for customers in the Bronx. Alvarez is a tax preparer and ATAX New York's sole member. Together, ATAX New York and Alvarez prepared and filed over 36,000 federal income tax returns from 2016 to 2019 for their customers. In preparing those returns, ATAX New York and Alvarez knowingly prepared and filed false federal income tax returns for their customers by fabricating, among other things, unreimbursed business expenses, charitable contributions, capital loss carryovers, and tuition expenses. Many tax returns prepared and filed by ATAX New York and Alvarez also falsely claimed "head of household" status for their customers as part of this scheme, even by using social security numbers belonging to deceased individuals in claiming dependents.

The Government is seeking an injunction against ATAX New York and Alvarez that would, among other things, permanently bar them from preparing or filing federal tax returns on behalf of others. The complaint also asks the court to order the defendants to turn over the ill-gotten net profits they earned because of their fraudulent conduct.

Ms. Strauss thanked the Internal Revenue Service for its assistance with this case.

The case is being handled by the Tax and Bankruptcy Unit in the Office's Civil Division. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Charles S. Jacob and Ilan Stein are in charge of the case.