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SANTA FE – An Espanola tax preparer has been indicted on several tax fraud charges for filing false tax returns on behalf of northern New Mexico residents, costing the State over $40,000. This is the second tax preparer that has been indicted on tax fraud charges in less than a month for filing false tax returns.
On Tuesday, a Santa Fe grand jury indicted John Alex Salazar on 16 counts of tax fraud. Salazar, 62, is accused of claiming fraudulent deductions and farming losses. This resulted in greater New Mexico personal income tax refunds.
Taxation and Revenue Secretary Demesia Padilla warned taxpayers that they are responsible for paying back to the State any refunds that were falsely claimed.
“It’s the responsibility of individual taxpayers to ensure that they are providing correct information for any deductions claimed and have proper documentation to support their information. They should also review their returns carefully before signing them,” Secretary Padilla said. “We will aggressively pursue taxpayers who have filed false returns to claim larger refunds. These recent indictments should also send a strong message to tax preparers that we will not tolerate defrauding the State.”
Salazar is accused of preparing false tax returns for 23 northern New Mexico residents for tax years 2010 and 2011. The Taxation and Revenue Department investigation revealed that Salazar claimed deductions on non-existent expenses and farming businesses.
The charges against Salazar include seven third-degree felonies and nine fourth-degree felonies.
Earlier this month, a Santa Fe grand jury indicted Juan Alfonso Gonzalez-Camacho on 23 counts of tax fraud. Gonzalez-Camacho, a tax preparer from Odessa, Texas, is also accused of claiming fraudulent deductions. He filed false returns on behalf of residents in the Hobbs and Lovington areas, costing the State over $40,000.
The Tax Fraud Investigations Division of the State Taxation and Revenue Department investigated both these cases. To report tax fraud against the State of New Mexico, contact the Tax Fraud Hotline at 1-866-457-6789.