IRS Contracts Four Agencies for a New Private Debt Collector Program to Begin this Spring

  
     
March 02, 2017

SOUTH FLA (March 2, 2017) - The Internal Revenue Service announced back in September its plans to begin private collection of certain overdue federal tax debts this spring and has selected four contractors to implement the new program.

The new program, authorized under a federal law enacted by Congress in December 2015, enables these designated contractors to collect, on the government’s behalf, outstanding inactive tax receivables. As a condition of receiving a contract, these agencies must respect taxpayer rights including, among other things, abiding by the consumer protection provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The IRS has selected the following contractors to carry out this program:

CBE Group
1309 Technology Pkwy
Cedar Falls, IA 50613 

Conserve
200 CrossKeys Office park
Fairport, NY 14450

Performant
333 N Canyons Pkwy
Livermore, CA 94551 

Pioneer
325 Daniel Zenker Dr
Horseheads, NY 14845

These private collection agencies will work on accounts where taxpayers owe money, but the IRS is no longer actively working their accounts. Several factors contribute to the IRS assigning these accounts to private collection agencies, including older, overdue tax accounts or lack of resources preventing the IRS from working the cases.

The IRS will give each taxpayer and their representative written notice that their account is being transferred to a private collection agency. The agency will then send a second, separate letter to the taxpayer and their representative confirming this transfer.

Private collection agencies will be able to identify themselves as contractors of the IRS collecting taxes. Employees of these collection agencies must follow the provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and must be courteous and respect taxpayer rights.

The IRS will do everything it can to help taxpayers avoid confusion and understand their rights and tax responsibilities, particularly in light of continual phone scams where callers impersonate IRS agents and request immediate payment.

Private collection agencies will not ask for payment on a prepaid debit card. Taxpayers will be informed about electronic payment options for taxpayers on IRS.gov/payments. Payment by check should be payable to the U.S. Treasury and sent directly to IRS, not the private collection agency. 

Tips to remember regarding this program: 

  • The IRS will contact taxpayers in ONLY in writing
  • Private collection agencies will NOT ask for payment on a prepaid debit card or wire transfer
  • Taxpayers will be informed about electronic payment options for taxpayers
  • Payment by check should be payable to the U.S. Treasury and sent directly to IRS, NOT the private collection agency.
  • Any information received that does not follow these guidelines is an immediate red flag.
  • Always do research with the IRS first if you’re not sure

 

The IRS will continue to keep taxpayers informed about scams and provide tips for protecting themselves. The IRS encourages taxpayers to visit IRS.gov for information including the “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” page. 

For more information visit the Private Debt Collection page on IRS.gov.

For information on a variety of consumer topics or to check out a business, please visit www.bbb.org/sefl To report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker bbb.org/scamtracker.