- Associated Press - Friday, February 12, 2016

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Comptroller Peter Franchot will discuss ongoing efforts to fight tax fraud and identity theft at tax preparation businesses.

Franchot is holding a forum on Friday in Annapolis.

Since the end of January, the comptroller’s office has suspended processing of electronic and paper tax returns from 23 Liberty Tax Service franchises and from 14 private tax preparers at 18 locations due to a high volume of questionable returns received.

The comptroller says suspicious characteristics on tax returns include: business income reported when taxpayers didn’t own a business and refund amounts that are much higher amounts than in previous returns.

Other suspicious qualities include inflated wages and withholding information.

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