Gas costs a hell of a lot these days. The working man just can't get a break.
Why, you can earn only $802 in a year even as you spend more than $88,000 on gas. Well, you can if the guy preparing your tax return is a scam artist.
That's what the federal government claims Kyle C. Kasten is. They're suing to shut down his tax-preparation business, KJ & J Tax Services ("The extra J is for jail!!" is not their slogan.)
Kasten, the U.S. Attorney's office says, was a master of the "fuel tax credit" scam.
Unfortunately, as they note, "Fraudulently claiming the fuel tax credit is one of the IRS's 'Dirty Dozen' tax scams for 2008."
The credit "is available only in limited circumstances for off-highway business use," the feds say, but Kasten apparently has a unique definition of the word "limited."
Besides the $88,000-for-gas client, he claimed another client used more than 55,000 gallons of gasoline in 2007. At $2 a gallon (ah, the good old days) that would be more than $110,000 in fuel tax credits on an income of less than $22,000.
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Overall, Kasten claimed more than $700,000 in bogus credits for clients, the feds say.
The feds are seeking a permanent injunction shutting down Kasten's business.
They will probably also check to see if he claims the mileage to the courthouse in his 2008 return.
-- Richard Connelly