Owner of tax prep business pleads guilty to filing false returns

The former owner of a Gulfport tax return preparation business has pleaded guilty to aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns.

According to documents and information provided to the court, Alvin Mays owned and operated City Tax Service, a tax return preparation business in the Gulfport, Mississippi area. From 2012 through 2017, Mays prepared—and trained his employees to prepare—false tax returns. To fraudulently inflate client refunds, the returns claimed false education credits and losses from fictitious businesses. Mays charged his clients exorbitant preparation fees, sometimes as high as $1,600 per return. In total, May’s conduct caused a tax loss to the United States of more than $900,000.

U.S. District Judge Halil S. Ozerden scheduled sentencing for April 16, 2020.  Mays faces a statutory maximum sentence of three years in prison on each count, as well as a period of supervised release and monetary penalties. In his plea agreement, Mays agreed to pay restitution of $321,605 to the United States. 

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Hurst thanked special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stanley Harris and Trial Attorney Kevin Schneider of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting the case.

(Information provided by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and United States Attorney Mike Hurst for the Southern District of Mississippi)