Cohen Discusses Mo' Money at Congressional Hearing on Income Tax Preparation Scams
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today discussed the tax preparation firm Mo’ Money Taxes at a Congressional hearing on Identity Theft and Income Tax Preparation Fraud. The Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security of the House Judiciary Committee held the hearing per a request from Congressmen Cohen, Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), Bennie Thompson (D-MS), and Scott Rigell (R-VA). There have been numerous complaints made recently about the Mo’ Money Taxes firm in Memphis and other parts of the country and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is investigating the matter.
“Today’s hearing answered a lot of questions about income tax preparation scams,” said Congressman Cohen. “Serious questions and concerns have been raised about the Mo’ Money tax preparation firm in Memphis and other parts of the country. Although today’s hearing was not solely focused on Mo’ Money taxes, we discussed the issue and what Americans can do to prevent being taken advantage of from companies that are victimizing people via tax fraud. There is no room in Memphis for tax preparation scams that prey on the poor and middle class. Tax preparation firms that rip off citizens and government with fraudulent work should be punished as severely as possible under the law.”
During the hearing Congressman Cohen also discussed the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and how the program could be improved and better publicized so people don’t have to turn to tax preparation firms with questionable motives. Congressman Cohen also discussed whether the IRS should send tax refunds directly to taxpayers using tax preparation firms and whether there are possible legislative solutions to prohibiting tax refund anticipations loans.
In March, Congressman Cohen met with Congressman Scott and a senior Justice Department official to follow up on their February 7, 2012 letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., requesting his office’s assistance in addressing the problems their constituents are having with the Mo’ Money tax preparation firm. In late January of this year, both members’ Congressional offices began receiving complaints from constituents regarding Mo’ Money. The complaints alleged:
- bounced checks issued by Mo’ Money for tax refunds;
- failure by Mo’ Money to provide refunds the IRS had sent it for constituents who had filed their taxes through the company; and
- excessive fees deducted by the company from refunds, and other problems.