MONTGOMERY – Doreen Smiley Jones, 62, of Bessemer was arrested on March 29 on felony charges of willfully aiding and assisting in the preparation of 33 Alabama income tax returns known to be false for clients of Jones’ tax preparation business resulting in a tax loss of $45,919.
The Alabama Department of Revenue identified unusual tax filings, that showed high tax deductions or exhibited business losses. Almost all of the filings claimed zero tax liability or a refund.
Further investigation by special agents of ALDOR’s Investigations Division determined the individual tax returns were false. Specifically, the returns either added or increased the amount of deductions through:
- Claimed medical expenditures;
- Claimed charitable gifting; or
- Adding business losses that were inaccurate because either the business did not exist, or the business was not suffering the listed losses.
“Income tax evasion and filing false returns are serious crimes committed against the state of Alabama, our taxpaying citizens, and the children of our state who lose funds vitally needed for their schools,” said Commissioner Vernon Barnett. “We will not tolerate corrupt and fraudulent tax filings and preparations. Tax preparers have an obligation, to their clients as well as to the state, to provide honest services.”
State income tax revenue is earmarked for the Education Trust Fund and is one of the fund’s major funding components. The crimes for which Jones was arrested were related to tax filings for 2016, 2017, and 2018. If convicted, Jones could face a fine of up to $100,000 and up to three years in prison. This case will be prosecuted by the Special Prosecutions Division of the Alabama Attorney General’s Office.