The Justice Department has asked a federal court to permanently shut down a Miami tax preparer who was falsely claiming the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit on his clients’ tax returns.

The government complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Miami last Thursday, alleges that David Santiago and his business, Santiago Investment & Consulting Inc., prepare returns for customers that falsely claim the First-Time Homebuyer Credit and report other false income and expense items.

The government complaint alleges that Santiago claimed the credit on customers’ returns even though he knew that they had not bought new homes. The complaint also alleges that Santiago claimed fabricated business deductions on some customers' returns. Santiago also allegedly failed to keep adequate customer records or copies of the returns he prepared. A preparer's failure to keep adequate records can subject him to civil penalties and an injunction.

Last October a federal court in Texas permanently barred a woman from preparing returns for others in a case where the Justice Department alleged abuse of the homebuyer credit and other tax law provisions.

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