In April of this year, letters have gone out to taxpayers from the IRS to taxpayers who are having their overdue accounts assigned to a total of 4 different private debt collection agencies. Guess what? If you are one of the ‘Chosen’ and you have moved and they do not have your current address, you won’t get that important letter. For example, if you have moved and have not filed since that time, the IRS does not know where to find you.
Does the IRS care? Technically yes. However they know that the debt companies are good at ‘Finding’ people/taxpayers. Of course the IRS is taking great steps to reduce the fraud that this could open up taxpayers to. If you have a Power of Attorney on file with a Resolution Company Enrolled Agent, CPA, or Tax Attorney, they will get a copy of the letter also. This alone will help fight against scam phone calls if one of these representatives are already working with you.
The Four Companies are: CBE Group of Cedar Falls, Iowa; Conserve of Fairpoint, NY; Performant of Livermore, CA; and Pioneer of Horseheads, NY. Taxpayers will be assigned to only one of these agencies. What the agencies can do is discus and help set up payment plans such as installment agreements. If something is set up you always pay the IRS, not the company. Payments, by the way, need to be done electronically or by check to the IRS.
The IRS has set up a special link at www.irs.gov/balancedue for the taxpayer if they are not sure whether they owe or not. This will determine whether you owe or not, however, there is a caveat to this. You must register and give your social security number, date of birth, filing status and mailing address of your last return. They will also need your email address, account number from a credit card, mortgage, home equity loan, or home equity line of credit. To top that off they will need your mobile phone number. That is a lot of personal information. I might decide to call and wait on hold for an hour or two. You can go to the local IRS office. Did you know that to go to local IRS offices you now have to make an appointment?
Finally, what the IRS wants you to know about this new ‘service’ is that the PCA (Private Collection Agency) will only be calling about a debt that has been owed for some time, the taxpayer has been aware of for years, and has been contacted in the past by the IRS.
If you have a complaint about the debt collectors, please contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). Be very aware that you can always choose to work with the IRS instead of the debt company. You just have to write a letter to say so.
If you get contacted by one of the debt collection agencies, let me suggest that you contact us here at U S Tax Solutions. Your initial consultation is always at no cost. If you decide to let us help you, we can stop the calls and collection activity that could garnish your wages and empty your bank accounts. Our goal is to be the ‘go to’ team that puts you first and to get you into compliance with the IRS without the harassment and even embarrassment. Our phone number is 888-828-1040.
John King is a co-owner of U S Tax Solutions. He is an Enrolled Agent, NTPI Fellow and Tax Resolution Specialist. For more than thirty years, a recognized tax professional specializing in tax preparation and state tax representation. John is currently serving as a board member of the TN Chapter of National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP). John is a retired Art Teacher from Hamilton County Tennessee, BA World History and Art. When asked how a tax professional could ever teach art, John replied “you’ve got to be creative”.