Georgia Firefighters Caught Up In Tax Return Scam

An income tax return preparer in Georgia that catered to firefighters is being investigated for tax fraud, and now the state is reviewing the returns of 1,400 taxpayers, most of whom are firefighters.

The Georgia Department of Revenue has confirmed to WSB-TV5 Atlanta that it is reviewing 1,400 potentially fraudulent returns prepared by Kim Griffin’s Tax Time, located in the City of Griffin. Channel 5 is reporting that Griffin would tout her knowledge of tax deductions for firefighters, and that word of her work was spread from firefighter to firefighter.

In the spring of 2018, an employee of Griffin’s was caught in an undercover operation where she fabricated $8,000 worth of deductions for a revenue agent posing as a taxpayer. A statement from the Department of Revenue stated:

  • In the case of Tax Time, the Department is still reviewing the 1,400 returns we believe to be fraudulent.
  • The Department of Revenue is helping these taxpayers get back into compliance which unfortunately, often times includes the repayment of unearned tax returns.
  • It is important to remember a taxpayer is ultimately responsible for the information on their return and if a refund seems out of the ordinary or too good to be true, it probably is.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

Check Also

Boilerplate Language In Policies

Today’s burning question: Many of our policies have a boilerplate statement saying that “company officers shall enforce this policy” and the “failure to follow this policy will result in disciplinary action.” Is this language really necessary? Answer: While there is nothing inherently wrong with such language… I am not a fan of it. It implies that your members are not inclined to follow the rules unless threatened…

Sick Leave and Hypocrisy

Today’s burning question: My fire department has a sick leave policy that states "Members of the Department on sick leave, when not hospitalized, are expected to remain at home, unless authorized by a physician for light duty." There are exceptions for medical care, prescriptions, etc. Is this a legal and supportable policy?