Plover tax preparer sentenced to 8 months


Date: September 14, 2022


Timothy M. O'Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that James Canfield, of Plover, Wisconsin, was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson to 8 months in federal prison for aiding in the preparation of false tax returns filed with the Internal Revenue Service. Canfield pleaded guilty to this charge on January 4, 2022. Canfield also will be permanently prohibited by the IRS from preparing or filing any tax returns for third parties.

Canfield owned and operated Advanced Accounting Concepts, Inc., a business located in Plover. As part of his business, Canfield prepared tax returns for third parties in exchange for a fee. Between 2013 and 2018, Canfield prepared and electronically submitted tax returns to the IRS on behalf of clients with both exaggerated, and in some instances, fabricated business expenses resulting in unjustified deductions for the business use of the clients' homes. This false information fraudulently reduced the amount of taxes his clients owed. Despite being told by clients that they primarily used their homes as their personal residence, Canfield often attributed 100% of their home for business, then took ordinary home expenses as deductible business expenses.

Judge Peterson noted that although Canfield did not directly profit financially from the fraudulent refunds or lower taxes paid by clients, he knowingly engaged in preparing the false returns to generate repeat business from the clients and expand his client base through favorable client recommendations. In choosing a sentence, Judge Peterson considered Canfield's age and health, as well as the fact that Canfield's conduct was "sustained and repeated." Canfield had previously been fined on two separate occasions by the IRS for preparing returns with unjustified business expenses and claiming personal living expenses as business deductions. After the second time Canfield was fined, in 2012, IRS revenue agents met with him and explained in detail how deductions he was submitting were unlawful under IRS regulations. Nonetheless, Canfield continued to prepare returns using the same false deductions for the next six years.

The charge against Canfield was the result of an investigation conducted by IRS Criminal Investigation. The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert A. Anderson and Meredith P. Duchemin.