Jail time for tax preparer for filing fake returns

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Ajay Sharma, a well-known tax preparer in the community was handed a conditional sentence of two years less a day and fined close to $100,000 for filing 100 fraudulent tax returns, according to the CRA.

Ajay Sharma pleaded guilty to one count of fraud over $5,000 on Sept. 25, 2017. He was sentenced April 27, according to the CRA.

An agency investigation revealed Sharma owned and operated S & S Associates and between 2009 and 2012 he prepared 100 fraudulent tax returns for 37 clients, according to a CRA news release. Sharma created fake business losses totaling $2.6 million when he prepared the false returns. Those returns resulted in the evasion or attempted evasion of federal tax payments totalling $488,178.

Sharma kept a profit of $96,946 from the scam by charging his clients a percentage of the tax refunds they received, according to the CRA in quoting court records.

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Taxpayers who seek out unknown tax preparers should ensure they do not succumb to the temptation to ‘save’ on their taxes because often it could be a costly mistake. One South Asian tax consultant on condition of anonymity said often it was his clients or potential clients who tried pressuring him to save their taxes by making false returns or inflating certain expenses. “I have often declined to sign off on such returns because I could end up being investigated and the client will shift the blame to me saying it was me who advised them to do it.” – CINEWS

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