IRS tax scams are becoming increasingly prevalent. The IRS has issued a warning about a pervasive phone scam. Be aware that the IRS always sends taxpayers a written notification of any tax due via the U.S. mail. More importantly, the IRS will never ask for credit card, debit card, or prepaid card information over the telephone. If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, and you think you owe taxes, hang up and call McKinley & Co. at (814) 849-8586 or the IRS at (800) 829-1040.
It is also important to know that the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS does not ask for PINs, passwords, or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank, or other financial accounts via email or any other means.
Ref: Thomson Reuters/Practitioners Publishing Company Tax Action Memo-1680 July 15, 2014
In a recent IRS FAQ, the IRS reiterated that arrangements in which an employer reimburses its employees' for the cost of individual (i.e. not 'group') health plans on a pre-tax basis is prohibited.
In the past, employers have been permitted to reimbursed an employee for the cost of health insurance policy premiums (or pay those premiums directly) and exclude those payments from the employee's gross wages. Such an arrangement is called an "Employer Payment Plan", and as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), are now considered to be "group health plans subject to the market reforms, including the prohibition on annual limits for essential health benefits and the requirement to provide certain preventive care without cost sharing." Employer Payment Plans cannot be integrated with individual policies in order to satisfy these market reforms, and therefore may be subject to a $100/day excise tax, per employee!
The bottom line is that employer reimbursements (or direct payments to the insurer) for the cost of an employee's individual health insurance policy can no longer be made on a pre-tax basis. This does not prohibit the employer from making those same payments on an after-tax basis.