Remember those phone call scams where callers impersonate IRS agents and requested immediate payments of “owed taxes”, well their business might have got a boost after recent IRS Decision. IRS recently decided to begin a new program where they will hire private debt collection who will work on certain overdue federal tax debt. With Congress authorizing this new program in December 2015, IRS plans to initiate the program as early as Spring of this year.
Here are what we know so far:
IRS reportedly has hired four private collection agencies called Conserve, Pioneer, Performant and CBE Group as contractors who will work on accounts with owed taxes, which IRS will no longer would actively work on.
IRS has declared so far that certain accounts are not subject to private debt collection and those are:
- Taxpayers under age of 18
- Victims of tax-related identity theft
- Cases under examination, litigation, criminal investigation or levy
- Accounts subject to offer in compromise or installment agreements
- Accounts subject to a right of appeal
- Accounts classified as innocent spouse cases
Though, how do we distinguish a call from a private collection agency from the previous Scam calls? pay attention to the method of payment and immediacy of it. IRS as well as Private debt Collection agent will never ask you to provide credit or debit card number over the phone. Unlike Scam call where they ask you to transfer money to a prepaid card or wire transfer, IRS and Private debt collection agencies will ask you to either make your payments online via IRS.gov or make checks payable to U.S treasury. Therefore, there will be no need for immediate action for you over the phone nor any threat of arrest or enforcement actions. Also, remember that IRS will notify you first by mail for your owed taxes before you receive any further correspondence.