Wisconsin tax accountant gets 8 months in prison for return fraud

An accountant from Plover, WI, was sentenced to eight months in federal prison on September 14 for assisting in the preparation of false tax returns filed with the IRS, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Wisconsin.

James Canfield, 74, owner of Advanced Accounting Concepts Inc., pleaded guilty to that charge on January 4, 2022.

Between 2013 and 2018, Canfield electronically prepared and submitted tax returns to the IRS on behalf of clients with both exaggerated and, in some cases, fabricated business expenses, resulting in improper deductions for commercial use of clients’ homes, according to U.S. Attorney Timothy. O’Shea. Although clients told him they primarily used their home as a personal residence, Canfield often allocated 100% of their home for business purposes and then considered ordinary household expenses to be deductible business expenses.

In sentencing Canfield, Chief U.S. District Judge James Peterson noted that although Canfield did not directly benefit financially from fraudulent refunds or lower taxes paid by clients, he knowingly engaged in preparing misrepresentations to generate repeat business from customers and expand its customer base. thanks to favorable customer recommendations. In choosing a phrase, Peterson considered Canfield’s age and health, as well as the fact that the accountant’s conduct was “sustained and repeated.”

Canfield had previously been fined twice by the IRS for preparing returns with improper business expenses and claiming personal living expenses as business deductions. After the second time Canfield was fined, IRS tax officials met with him in 2012 and explained in detail how the deductions he was submitting were illegal under IRS regulations. IRS. But Canfield continued to prepare returns using the same false deductions for the next six years.

In addition to his prison sentence, Canfield was permanently banned by the IRS from preparing or filing tax returns for others.

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