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Quatloos! > Tax Scams > Tax Protestors > EXHIBIT: Tax Protestor Dummies 2 > Cases

Tax Protestor Cases Exhibit
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Couple receives audit letter

The Capital-Journal

Some members of Renaissance, The Tax People, have received audit notices from the Internal Revenue Service.

A letter sent to a Lawrence couple says the IRS is assisting the U.S. Attorney's office in an ongoing grand jury investigation of Renaissance owner Michael Cooper for the years 1998 and 1999.

"I just don't know what all of this will entail," said Helen Chambers, a Lawrence taxpayer who received the letter. "I can tell you it's a rather frightening experience. I just don't know what to anticipate."

Renaissance, The Tax People
For expanded coverage including audio, message boards, story archives, court documents and images, visit the The Tax People special section.

A spokeswoman for the IRS declined to comment because the investigation is ongoing.

The letter says as a result of this investigation it is necessary to review the couple's tax returns that were prepared by a representative of Renaissance.

The letter requests the taxpayers to attend a meeting with a revenue agent and bring the following information:

. Any books and records used to determine income and expenses on the returns prepared by Renaissance representatives.

. Copies of any instructions, publications or other information used to support the tax treatment of items claimed as deduction on Schedule C.

. Copies of any amended returns filed and documentation supporting the changed items.

. Copies of the prior and subsequent year returns, including any amended returns submitted.

. Copies of any correspondence or notices received from the Internal Revenue Service regarding the years indicated.

Chambers said she spoke to the IRS agent who sent the letter, and he told her that she wasn't the target of the investigation.

"He assured me that we had not been singled out or anything," she said.

Chambers said she became an independent marketing associate for Renaissance in January 1998. She used the company's tax advice in operating a home-based business. Her accountant, who wasn't involved with Renaissance, reviewed all of her tax materials and prepared her tax returns, she said.

Chambers said she has been involved with various network marketing and direct sales companies since the mid-1970s, working as a distributor from her home.

"I'm always looking into something new, but after this to tell you the truth, I'm ready to just shut down," she said.

The Topeka-based tax firm has been the subject of investigations by the U.S. attorney general, U.S. Postal Service inspectors and the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service. A federal forfeiture complaint filed by Jackie Williams, U.S. attorney for Kansas, accuses the company of mail fraud and money laundering. Kansas Attorney General Carla Stovall has filed a civil lawsuit alleging Renaissance is operating an illegal pyramid scheme. Stovall continues to investigate whether Cooper and Renaissance are in violation of Kansas criminal codes.

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