Tax Preparers Scamming Filers for Obamacare ‘Individual Mandate’ Tax: IRS

The IRS warned Americans taxpayers Friday of a scam that leverages Obamacare’s penalty for lacking insurance in 2014.

A consumer alert from the agency says payments for flouting the 2010 law’s “individual mandate” should be made directly to the government with a tax return, or in response to a letter from the IRS.

But “unscrupulous preparers” or other scammers are telling filers to make the payment directly to them. In some cases the payer has Medicaid or another type of coverage and doesn’t owe the penalty at all.

The IRS said it received several reports of the scam and that it takes various forms.

Some shady preparers instructed filers to pay the tax directly because of their immigration status, while others said a direct payment could reduce the amount of the tax.