The Internal Revenue Service’s Office of Professional Responsibility has obtained the disbarment of enrolled agent Lorna M. Walker for allegedly stealing a client's tax payments and preparing tax returns with false deductions for multiple clients.
Walker's enrolled agent status was revoked for at least five years, until 2018. She practiced in the Seattle area.
“Practitioners who disregard their responsibilities to the tax system and their clients can expect to hear from OPR," said IRS OPR director Karen L. Hawkins in a statement. "Any tax professional who steals from a client or causes them undue tax problems is unfit to practice before this agency."
In a Final Agency Decision, the Administrative Law Judge disbarred Walker for misappropriating client payments intended for the IRS in furtherance of an offer in compromise, and for preparing multiple returns containing Schedule C deductions for which she could not produce substantiation on audit.
Walker was engaged to represent a taxpayer in a collection matter, according to the IRS. The client gave Walker two money orders totaling $1,500 to forward to the IRS along with an offer in compromise for delinquent taxes. The judge found that Walker altered, endorsed and cashed the money orders for her own personal use, which are acts of willful incompetent and disreputable conduct under Circular 230.
The judge also found that Walker prepared Forms 1040 for seven clients claiming Schedule C deductions that were unsubstantiated and unsupportable. Walker failed to exercise due diligence in preparing the Schedule C forms, the judge found, thereby violating multiple due diligence provisions contained in Circular 230.
Walker also failed to respond to the administrative complaint and the motion for default judgment, the IRS noted. The judge determined that because Walker failed to respond either to the complaint or to the motion for default judgment, she was deemed to admit all the allegations in the complaint, and to not oppose the default motion.
Update: As of May 2015, Walker and her attorney were appealing the matter with the OPR.
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