Local residents sue preparer over alleged bad tax advice

Kelly Holleran Feb. 4, 2009, 6:32am

Four Jefferson County residents have filed suit against Compro Tax, alleging they were forced to made additional tax payments because of poor advice given to them by an advisor.

Cephus Barclay, Brandi Dressler, Dorothy Edwards and Jimmy Edwards went to Compro Tax for preparation of their Internal Revenue Service returns from 2004 through 2006, according to the complaint filed Jan. 28 in Jefferson County District Court.

Compro Tax was founded in 1987 by Orange resident Jackie Mayfield. The tax preparation service has its main office on Laurel Street in Beaumont and has grown to more than 125 offices across the country.

While at the office, a preparer strongly recommended they purchase Non Conventional Source Fuel Credits as part of their tax planning, the suit states.

However, the plaintiffs claim they later received either a 915 or 950 letter from the IRS not allowing the credits and requesting additional tax payments.

"According to the IRS, Defendant, it's agents or representatives failed to ensure that the ownership rights to the alternative fuel production were properly conveyed or transferred to the Plaintiffs from the credit provider and therefore, the FNS Credits reflected on Plaintiffs tax returns have no basis in fact or in law," the suit states.

Because of Compro Tax advice, the plaintiffs claim they suffered from disallowed credits, interest and penalties.

According to the complaint, Compro Tax's conduct is a false, misleading and deceptive act in violation of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

Barclay, Dressler and the Edwards are seeking damages within the jurisdictional limits of the court, plus pre-judgment interest at the maximum rate allowed by law, post-judgment interest at the legal rate, costs, attorney fees and further relief to which they may be entitled.

They are represented by Daniel D. Gartner of the Gartner Law Firm in Houston and Daniel F. Barton of the Barton Law Firm in Houston.

The case has been assigned to Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court.

Case No. B183-147

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