In an ongoing effort to protect Maryland taxpayers, Comptroller Peter Franchot announced that his office has immediately suspended processing electronic tax returns from nine tax preparers due to a high volume of questionable returns received.
Among the nine firms to be suspended was Magino & Associates of Red Robin Terrace in Germantown.
"My top priority is to protect Maryland taxpayers and detecting fraudulent tax returns," Comptroller Franchot said. "We want to make sure the tax refunds we issue are legitimate and go to the correct taxpayers. My top-notch Questionable Return Detection Team is vigilant in rooting out returns that try to cheat the state and steal money from hardworking Marylanders."
The businesses, which have been sent written notice of the action, were identified by the Comptroller's nationally recognized fraud unit using state-of-the-art technology that allows the Office to detect fraud. The agency's review process provides an opportunity for blocked preparers to have their filing privileges restored.
In 2017, the Comptroller's Office blocked suspicious tax returns at 95 tax preparation businesses in 113 locations. Since taking office in 2007, the Comptroller's team has identified and blocked more than 88,000 fraudulent returns and intercepted and denied $190.2 million worth of fraudulent refunds.
"Watching for tax fraud schemes and fraudulent returns is a big challenge for tax administrators across the nation," Franchot said. "My agency uses every tool available to make sure Maryland's tax filing system is safe and accurate."
Another Montgomery County firm on the list was Precise Tax and Accounting Service, of New Hampshire Avenue in Takoma Park.
Taxpayers should carefully review their returns for these issues and should be suspicious if a preparer:
• Deducts fees from the taxpayer's refund to be deposited into the tax preparer’s account.
• Does not sign the tax return.
• Fails to include the Preparer Taxpayer Identification number "P-TIN" on the return.
A complete list of all tax preparers blocked from filing returns is available at marylandtaxes.com. If taxpayers suspect fraud, they are asked to immediately report the issue to the Comptroller's Office by calling 1-800-MD-TAXES (1-800-638-2937) or by emailing TAXHELP@comp.state.md.us.