ACA UPDATE: New IRS Email Scam Exploits Individual Mandate
Senior Compliance Attorney
New technologies, regulations, or events can be a test of our change management skills. For scammers, change often provides new opportunities as well. Each year, scammers drain billions from the U.S. economy in fraudulent activity. The latest target of online IRS-related scams is the Affordable Care Act. This should come as no surprise, as changes in the market often bring confusion and the opportunity for illegal activity.
On September 22, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a warning to taxpayers and tax professionals to beware of fake emails purporting to contain an IRS tax bill related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The IRS reports that scammers have been sending CP2000 notices for the 2015 tax year. The scam appears to involve an email that includes a fake CP2000 as an attachment relative to the individual mandate penalty. A CP2000 is an IRS notice of mismatching information reported on your tax return, which can affect your tax responsibilities.
The fraudulent CP2000 email appears to be using a variation of the following:
- Electronic Notice: The notice is being sent electronically, even though the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers via email or social media platforms.
- Location: The fraudulent CP2000 appear to be issued from an Austin, TX address.
- Individual Mandate: The fake cause for the correspondence is a request for information regarding the individual’s 2014 health insurance coverage, as required by the ACA.
- Payment: The payment voucher lists the letter number as 105C.
The IRS actively communicates tax scams as a consumer alert service on their website. We would recommend the following resources to employers and individuals:
- IRS Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts: This official IRS page is frequently updated with the latest tax-related scams in the market.
- Identify/Report Phishing and Scams: This official IRS page helps taxpayers to identify what they should do if they receive a suspicious IRS-related communication.
We encourage you to share this information with your employees and consult the IRS or your tax professional if you have further questions.