IRS to use private debt collectors amid huge telephone scam

Posted April 05, 2017

In this photo taken August 19, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service Building in Washington.

The IRS said Tuesday it would start sending letters out this month to taxpayers whose longtime unpaid tax debts are being farmed out to authorized private debt collection firms. The resumption of the program comes amid a wave of telephone scams in which fake IRS agents try to con innocent taxpayers out of their money.

Unlike private debt collectors, IRS employees have a variety of tools at their disposal with which they can help taxpayers facing financial difficulties meet their tax obligations.

Taxpayers who are unsure if they have an unpaid tax debt from a previous year - which is what the private collection firm will handle - can go to the IRS.gov. The program will grow to 1,000 accounts a week for each firm by the end of summer. Almost 60 percent of taxpayers recently surveyed by NerdWallet mistakenly believed that filing for an extension would allow them to delay tax payments.

"I want people to know this is happening and what they should do in the event that this happens to them", she said.

Once the IRS letter is sent, the designated private firm will send its own letter to the taxpayer and their representative confirming the account transfer. Contribute as much as you can afford to your IRA and your 401 (k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan.

"If people have a problem paying their tax bill, we encourage them to reach out to us", Koskinen said. You're never going to get an initial phone call and you're never going to get an initial email from the IRS.

"Choose wisely", said Mike Brock, assistant special agent in charge of the Las Vegas field office of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division.

In October, the Justice Department announced charges against 61 defendants in the United States and overseas in connection with call center operations based in India.

The answer: Tax refunds typically arrive within three weeks of the date you filed.

"They said I owed back taxes for the period of 2010 to 2015 and told me I owed $6,821", Willette says.

Murphy offered several tips to detect con artists.

Cheryl Willette, of Roxbury, said she received a phone call and wasn't sure if it was from the real IRS or not. Collectors must be courteous and respect taxpayers rights. "It undermines the confidence Americans should have in government action", said Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. "The IRS also urges taxpayers to be on the lookout for scammers who might use this program as a cover to trick people".

"Every time this has been tried before, it has failed", said NTEU National President Tony Reardon.

The Internal Revenue Service reminded taxpayers today that unclaimed federal income tax refunds totaling more than $1 billion may be waiting for an estimated 1 million taxpayers who did not file a 2013 federal income tax return.

Other powerful lawmakers from both political parties supported it. Unless you're able to pay off your balance within 120 days, you'll be assessed a $52 fee for setting up a direct debit agreement with the IRS, or $105 for a payroll deduction agreement. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa. As IRS officials have noted, no new money was appropriated by Congress to operate the PCA program. The IRS will start by assigning cases in which the debt is less than $50,000. Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we're all after. "One of those was to ensure the taxpayers are confident that they are talking to a private collection agency".

No Apparent Health Insurance - The Affordable Care Act requires that you have health insurance or you must pay a penalty (for 2017) of the greater of 2.5% of your income, or $695 per each adult not covered, plus $347.50 per child not covered.

For-profit debt collectors have been hired by the IRS to chase down long-overdue taxes that the government agency lacks the resources to work on.

The IRS is hiring four outside agencies; CBE Group of Cedar Falls, IA, Conserve of Fairport, NY, Performant of Livermore, CA and Pioneer of Horseheads, NY to do the collections for them.