IRS to Start Using Private Collection Agencies
Starting in April of 2017 the Internal Revenue Service will start using private collection agencies to collect overdue tax accounts. They will assign taxpayers who have overdue federal tax accounts to one of four private-sector collection agencies.
But don’t worry, not just anyone who has past due taxes will be sent to a collection agency. The IRS states the individuals who will be sent to collections are cases that are not currently being worked by the IRS collection employees. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen states, “The IRS is taking steps throughout this effort to ensure that the private collection firms work responsibly and respect taxpayer rights.”
The biggest concern with this new program is the increase of Scams. In recent years there have been excessive phone scams where an individual is called and threatened that if they do not pay their past taxes a police officer will be there to arrest them. Koskinen is also warning individuals that “The IRS also urges taxpayers to be on the lookout for scammers who might use this program as a cover to trick people.”
The IRS states with this new program, they will be notifying individuals who will be assigned to a collection agency and will begin receiving mailings and subsequent phone calls. The IRS says that individuals will always receive multiple contacts, letters and phone calls, first from the IRS, not private collectors before they are transferred to a collection agency.
I believe the concern of people will be that over the years, the IRS has always stated that the IRS does not make phone calls to collect a debt and if you receive one of these calls, it is a scam. What now are the people to do, who do not realize they owe a debt to the IRS to think? The risk of people who do not know they owe a debt, and may ignore these phone calls or letter believing it is a scam, may now be sent to a collection agency and severely damage their credit score.
Most individuals know if they owe the IRS, but in the event you don’t know, now would be a great time to contact the IRS and make sure you’re not on this list. For more information on this new program , click here.
Here is a list of IRS hotlines if you are looking for telephone assistance:
- Tax Help Line for Individuals: 800-829-1040
- Tax Help Line for Businesses: 800-829-4933
- Special Hotline for U.S. Military (Disaster or Combat Zone): 866-562-5227
- Telephone Assistance for Overseas Taxpayers: 267-941-1000 (not toll-free)
- Telephone Assistance for the Deaf (TDD): 800-829-4059