Department of Justice Attempts to Thwart Tax Evasion
Tax scams  take many shapes, and since Congress passed the I.R.S. Reform and Restructuring Act in 1998 there has been an influx of tax scam opportunists attempting to take advantage of an unsuspecting and willing public. Designed to protect taxpayers from over-zealous tax agents, the law also provides a shield against prosecution for those who sell tax-evasion programs.
One popular scam is the tax slavery reparations scam , in which African American taxpayers are encouraged to claim a tax credit for amounts supposedly owed by the federal government to their ancestors. Other scams include claims that taxes are voluntary and thus not required to be paid, and that only foreign-owned corporations are taxable.
The I.R.S. estimates that at least 152,000 tax returns were filed last year in which Americans claimed they owed no taxes or were entitled to a refund based on bogus tax scams.
Included in the court papers is information that actor Wesley Snipes is one of those taxpayers who attempted to take advantage of a tax scam on his income tax return. Documents filed with the court include Mr. Snipes's amended 1997 income tax return which was prepared by Mr. Rosile. The amended return shows a reduction to zero of the original $19.3 million in income reported by Mr. Snipes and a request for a $7.4 million refund. The reason shown on the return for the change in income is that Mr. Snipes did not owe taxes because he did not work for foreign companies.
I.R.S. manager Rae Ann Thurell who regularly works with tax scams claimed on tax returns noted that the business of dealing with the bogus returns "places a severe administrative burden on the I.R.S."