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Do private debt collectors work for the IRS?

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I got a call from a debt collector regarding tax. He said I owe $450 to the IRS. Really?
Do private debt collectors work for the IRS?




In December 2015, President Obama signed the FAST Act as law that allows the IRS to hire private debt collectors to recover unpaid tax debt. But, the IRS was supposed to design a program for implenting this policy. The IRS would formally notify you that your account has been transferred to a private debt collection agency in writing. Thereafter, the IRS will send you another letter. Did you receive any letter from the IRS?

Sub: #1 posted on Wed, 05/25/2016 - 13:21

davensmith8 davensmith8

(Posts: 14 | Credits: 1.58)

Hello Nancy,

Yes, I fully agree with davensmith8. The Congress decided to outsource the unpaid tax collection work in Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act that took effect in December 2015.

The IRS has gone in for private debt collectors twice over the last 18 years. So, you must be aware of the process a bit to become secure from the scammers.

First of all, the private debt collector normally will contact you by letter. Secondly, if they found your last known address incorrect, then they'll find your correct address.

Next, they'll make you a call (in your case, they already did it) to request full payment. So, you must also talk to them about the matter clearly.

One thing you must remember, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is also applied to private debt collectors in this scenario, same as the other debt collection cases. So, they can't force you or abuse you to pay them directly. These debt collectors can't accept payment on behalf of IRS.

I hope this will be helpful for you.

Sub: #2 posted on Wed, 06/01/2016 - 19:08

tiarajoseph11 tiarajoseph11

(Posts: 189 | Credits: 31.24)

Both davensmith8 and tiarajoseph11 are absolutely right - the IRS is allowed to hire private debt collectors for collecting outstanding taxes. You might be surprised to know that the IRS had the option of using private firms for debt collection, which they’ve practiced in the past.

I would like to add few more points here -
  • Private debt collectors can’t handle certain tax bills namely - bills of a deceased taxpayer, one who is under 18 years or the one who’s a victim of identity theft.

  • They can’t call you before 8 am or after 9 pm.

  • They can’t accept direct payments. All payments are made to the U.S. Treasury.

  • Private debt collectors asking for sensitive personal information is a sure sign of a scam.

Sub: #3 posted on Fri, 06/03/2016 - 08:08

Phil Bradford Phil Bradford

(Posts: 110 | Credits: 11.39)

Did you receive any letter from the IRS regarding this issue? If yes, then you should take action but if no, then contact the IRS.

Sub: #4 posted on Tue, 06/07/2016 - 18:23

sanderspatricia29 sanderspatricia29

(Posts: 361 | Credits: 41)

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