The Justice Department has asked a federal court to bar a flea market-based tax preparer from readying returns for clients.According to a complaint filed in Miami’s U.S. District Court, Tashanna McFarland of Miramar, Fla., regularly prepared federal tax returns claiming fraudulent fuel tax credits, a scam that the Internal Revenue Service has said is a serious enforcement problem. McFarland operates her tax preparation business out of a booth in a Miami flea market.

The government complaint alleges that McFarland has prepared at least 970 returns since 2003 and that the IRS has identified over $1.5 million dollars in fraudulent fuel tax credits on McFarland-prepared returns. The federal government imposes a fuel tax on gasoline and diesel fuel that is included in the purchase price at the pump. Businesses can claim a fuel tax credit in certain rare circumstances, but most businesses and consumers who use cars or trucks on roads and highways are not eligible for the credit.

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