If you search for reviews on Yelp of the best tax preparation firms in the Bronx, it’s no surprise you don’t see RAP Tax Services among them. Maybe it’s because the owner admitted to submitting false and fraudulent tax returns on behalf of clients, falsely claiming dependents, nonexistent charitable deductions, or bogus business expenses. Yeah, let’s go with that.
If tax fraud was an Olympic event, Roberto Perez Ramirez, who pled guilty on Feb. 19 to 10 counts of aiding and assisting the preparation of false and fraudulent income tax returns for the tax years 2013 to 2016, would be on the medal stand.
Here’s what the Justice Department had to say:
Through his Bronx tax preparation business, RAP Tax Service, Ramirez prepared and filed nearly 3,000 individual income tax returns on behalf of taxpayers for the tax years 2013 to 2016.
On many of the returns that he prepared for the tax years 2013 to 2016, Ramirez falsely claimed dependents who were not in fact dependents of the named taxpayers. The false dependents included real persons located in Puerto Rico, among other places. By including false dependents, Ramirez fraudulently inflated the refunds that could be obtained on the named taxpayers’ returns. Ramirez sometimes charged clients a $1,000 fee to add a false dependent.
In addition to reporting false dependents, Ramirez also reported false Schedule A deductions, such as gifts to charity or unreimbursed employee business expenses, and false Schedule C business expenses. By including false Schedule A deductions and false Schedule C expenses, Ramirez fraudulently inflated the refunds that could be obtained on the named taxpayers’ returns.
For the tax years 2013 through 2016, Ramirez’s scheme caused an estimated tax loss to the IRS of approximately $3 million.
As part of his plea agreement, Ramirez, 59, agreed to pay the IRS $2,974,547 in restitution. His sentencing is scheduled for June 25.