Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot has blocked tax returns from 19 more tax preparers because of a high volume of questionable returns.
A full list of suspended tax preparers, including five in Baltimore, is available at www.marylandtaxes.com.
Fourteen of the banned tax preparers are in Maryland. Others are in Washington, D.C., Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina.
The announcement adds to the list of tax preparers that have been banned from filing returns this tax season, as Franchot continues his push to reduce fraud. The comptroller’s office in February said it was banning another 20 tax preparers for suspicious returns.
Tax returns from the banned preparers caught regulators’ attention for reporting business income for taxpayers who don’t own a business, requesting refund amounts significantly higher than past years, inflated and undocumented business expenses, and questionable claims for dependents.
Suspended tax preparers can regain their filing privileges through the agency’s review process.
The comptroller’s office is asking taxpayers to help identify other fraudulent tax preparers by being on the lookout for red flags. Deducting fees from the refund that will be deposited in the tax preparer’s account, not signing the tax refund and failing to include a Preparer Taxpayer Identification number, or P-TIN, are some examples of suspicious activity.
Anyone who suspects fraud should contact the comptroller’s office by calling 1-800-MD-TAXES or by emailing TAXHELP@comp.state.md.us.