A husband and wife who won big off a 2014 lottery scratch off say they don’t want what happened to them to happen to anyone else.
Rafael Borsas says he and his wife, who make less than $80,000 a year, went to a nearby Key Express Tax service to have their taxes prepared for them. Instead of being charged $160 for a “1040 single family house owners” service, they were overcharged nearly $2,000: $300 for income tax and $1,700 for a gambling bonus.
The commissioner of the Department of Businesses Affairs and Consumer protection said the couple’s 2015 refund was about $92,000, which raised red flags for the IRS who claimed the couple underpaid on their taxes.
“There is no such thing as a gambling bonus to a tax preparer,” said Maria Guerralapacek, commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs and Business Protection.
“We right away issued citations to the business,” Guerralapacek said. “Because in fact, the business didn’t follow the law set out for tax preparers.”
Guerralapacek said it was obvious the couple was being defrauded and offers a warning to taxpayers. She said having a city license doesn’t mean a tax preparer is qualified or to do so because they are not regulated by the federal government.
Borsas says he’ll never go back to the Key Express Tax, part of an industry Guerralapacek says is “ripe with fraud.”
When the business was reached by phone, NBC5 was told the person in charge was not available. The city is pursuing legal action against it for multiple reasons, including restitution for the victims.