Columbus tax preparer pleads guilty to filing fraudulent tax returns, not paying personal taxes

Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 2:46 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 2, 2023 at 3:09 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A Columbus-based tax preparer pleaded guilty in federal court to charges that she submitted false claims for tax credits for her clients and also failed to pay her own personal taxes.

On February 2, 35-year-old Nadine Word pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of false and fraudulent individual income tax returns and one count of willful failure to file return, supply information, or pay tax.

According to court documents, between at least 2014 and 2018, Word prepared and submitted fraudulent tax returns out of her tax preparation business, Superior Taxes. These fraudulent returns resulted in greater tax refunds for Word’s clients and greater fees for Word, amounting to a total loss of $586,565. Word would submit fraudulent claims for earned income credits, education credits and business losses. She also failed to file her own tax returns during that time period.

The most common fraudulent claim Word submitted was for education credits for individuals who did not attend the school listed on the Form 8863 submitted with the Form 1040 tax return.

An analysis of tax returns claiming education credits revealed that 408 of 494 claims filed by Word had no supporting education records at the documented educational institution.

Word faces a maximum of three years in prison to be followed by one year of supervised and a $100,000 fine for the first count and a maximum sentence of one year imprisonment to be followed by one year of supervised release and a fine of $25,000 for the second count.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 13.