IRS Privatizes Debt Collection

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Beginning in April, the IRS will start send letters to taxpayers whose overdue federal tax accounts have been assigned to one of four private debt collection agencies. The private collection agencies (PCAs) will be authorized to collect unpaid tax debts on the government’s behalf. These debts are usually unpaid individual tax debts assessed several years ago. The IRS will notify the taxpayer and their tax representative in writing before transferring the accounts to the PCA and the name of the PCA will be given with the letter. Then a letter will be sent by the PCA stating that the account has been transferred to them from the IRS. Note: The PCAs can discuss payment options with the taxpayer, such as setting up a payment agreement with the taxpayer, but all payments must be made to the IRS. Taxpayers are cautioned never to send a payment to the PCA or anyone besides IRS or the U.S. Treasury. Checks should only be made payable to the United States Treasury.

SCAM ALERT: The IRS also warns taxpayers to be wary of scammers who call and pose as PCAs. Remember that PCAs will only call about debts that the taxpayer has had and has been aware of for years. The IRS would have contacted the taxpayer previously regarding this debt. Some general tips about how to identify a scammer are: someone who demands immediate payment using a specific method, such as wire transfer or gift card, or threatens to call police or other law enforcement in the event of nonpayment.

If you have questions or concerns regarding notices from the IRS, please contact us.

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