A recent warning issued by the IRS alleges fraud is being perpetrated by unethical tax preparers targeting Spanish-speaking taxpayers who lack fluency in English. The IRS cites reports of tax preparers insisting that individual shared responsibility payments be made to the preparer – or a designated third party – rather than the IRS.
The following spurious reasons have been used by these preparers:
- “telling individuals that they must make an individual shared responsibility payment directly to the preparer because of their immigration status,
- promising to lower the payment amount if the client pays it directly to the preparer, or
- demanding money from individuals who are exempt from the individual shared responsibility payment.”
The alert reminds taxpayers that an official letter from the IRS will be sent to those who owe the individual shared responsibility payment, and it will include instructions for issuing payment. To further safeguard against these situations, the IRS linked a directory to help taxpayers find credentialed preparers.
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Source: Internal Revenue Service