Hayward man sentenced to 2 years prison for false tax returns

FILE - In this photo March 22, 2013 file photo, the exterior of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building in Washington. The IRS provided poor customer service during this year's tax filing season as taxpayers struggled with a rise in identity theft and complications related to President Barack Obama’s health law, a government watchdog said Wednesday. A new report by the National Taxpayer Advocate says the IRS has been hampered by budget cuts. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

OAKLAND (BCN) — A Hayward man was sentenced in federal court Friday to two years in prison for aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns.

Runnveer Singh, 54, must also pay restitution in the amount of $124,528 as part of his sentence, according to prosecutors.

Singh pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and assisting in preparing the false tax returns, prosecutors said.

According to his plea agreement, Singh admitted that from 2009 through 2011, Singh prepared false tax returns claiming both false and ineligible deductions and credits for clients, prosecutors said.

The false items included unremembered employee expenses, charitable deductions, schedule C business expenses, education credits, personal property tax and other schedule A expenses, prosecutors said.

By including the items on his client’s tax returns, he caused the Internal Revenue Service to issue inflated tax refunds of at least $130,435 according to prosecutors.

On Nov. 14, 2012, the IRS executed a search warrant at Singh’s Hayward residence. During the search, Singh told agents he knowingly prepared the false tax returns in order to obtain returning customers, prosecutors said.

After the search and Singh’s statement, Singh instructed one of his clients to submit both false and ineligible information to an IRS Revenue Agent during the audit of his 2010 income tax returns. Singh did so to justify the false and ineligible business expenses he reported on the client’s 2010 tax return, prosecutors said.

Singh operated his tax return preparation business in Hayward from 2008 through 2013. During that six-year period, Singh obtained clients from the local Fijian community and prepared thousands of income tax returns, prosecutors said.

Singh will begin serving his sentence on Sept. 30, according to prosecutors.

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