Local tax business accused of filing fraudulent returns in federal suit

The U.S. Department of Justice is accusing a tax preparation business with two locations in Indianapolis of reporting false information on federal income tax returns.

The DOJ said Thursday that it is seeking to shut down G & A Tax Service LLC, which is owned by Antonio Chappell and has offices at 4857 Oakbrook Drive and 4721 North Franklin Road.

The lawsuit accuses Chappell of preparing “fraudulent federal tax returns for his customers by falsely reporting income and expenses to inflate claims for the Earned Income Credit.”

The DOJ said G & A submitted at least 184 returns filed with another tax preparer’s identification number after that tax preparer’s death.

It also alleges that “Chappell knowingly or recklessly misrepresents his customers’ filing statuses and reports non-qualifying dependents on customers’ tax returns in order to maximize the customers’ Earned Income Credit and qualify them for the Additional Child Tax Credit.”

The complaint asks the federal court in Indianapolis to “entirely bar Chappell and G & A Tax from preparing federal tax returns for others.”

A man who answered the phone at G&A’s Oakbrook Drive office Friday morning and identified himself as an employee said he was unaware of the lawsuit. He referred further questions to Chappell, who wasn’t immediately available.

The lawsuit also accuses Chappell of attempting to facilitate the sale of dependent information to at least one customer in order to claim false tax credits, providing a customer a fraudulent document to mislead an IRS examiner during an audit, and instructing at least one customer to falsely represent that the customer provided support to the dependents claimed on his return.

The DOJ said people seeking a federal tax service should check the IRS directory of credentialed preparers. The IRS also maintains a list of preparers who have been barred from preparing returns.

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