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An Illegal Filing Ends Badly

Eileen Maki, a tax preparer, recalls witnessing how one would-be client’s determination to file incorrectly — and illegally — backfired.

When a married couple came to her, Barry, the husband, insisted she file their taxes separately, with his return as Head of Household and his wife Cara’s as single.

Eileen refused to file their taxes.

When Maki explained she couldn’t do that because they were legally married, Barry became irate, saying his sister had done it, hurling an empty baby carrier across the office at the window.

Months later, a colleague informed her that the couple had gone to another tax filing office that fulfilled their request to file separately.

“When they were notified they'd be audited, they falsely claimed I had prepared their taxes,” Maki relates.

Several months after clarifying this was not the case, she came across a picture of Barry in the morning newspaper.

“He'd been sentenced to 5 years in jail for Federal Tax Fraud and Falsification of Audit Documents.”

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