The Internal Revenue Service is urging taxpayers to choose their tax preparer carefully, warning that some unscrupulous preparers are pocketing their individual health coverage payments under the Affordable Care Act.

“In some cases, these preparers were instructing their clients to make individual shared responsibility payments directly to that preparer,” said the IRS in an email alert Tuesday. “In some cases, this was happening even though the taxpayer had Medicaid or other health coverage. Under this circumstance, the taxpayer didn’t need to make the shared responsibility payment at all. In some parts of the country, unscrupulous return preparers were targeting taxpayers with limited English proficiency and, in particular, those who primarily speak Spanish.”

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