This month’s newsletter will provide general information about the IRS’ Private Debt Collection Program and how you can keep your tax information secure.
PRIVATE COLLECTION AGENCY (PCA)
In 2017 the IRS reactivated a program which has outsourced the collection of unpaid taxes from a number of individuals and businesses. From the start of the program in April 2017 through June 13, 2019, the IRS has given four PCAs more than 1.9 million total cases that represent more than $16.2 billion of the IRS’s balance-due inventory. To date, the PCAs have assisted more than 163,000 taxpayers who either paid their balances in full or set up a payment arrangement.
The IRS works exclusively with four private collection agencies.
Taxpayer’s who have had their outstanding debt transferred to a private collect agency will be contacted by one of these four agencies.
It may come as a surprise if you have been contacted by a debt collection agency claiming to be operating on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service. It is wise to be cautious of ANYONE claiming to be working with or on behalf of the IRS. The IRS will almost NEVER contact you by telephone.
In order to verify that you are being contacted by a legitimate collection agency, you should have received a Notice CP40 issued by the IRS notifying you that your debt has been transferred to a private collection agency. In addition, you would have received a letter from the private collection agency. You can verify this transfer by contacting the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 or the number listed on your notice.
This notice will contain a Taxpayer Authentication Number which is used to confirm your identity and confirm the caller is legitimate. You should always ask the collection agency to provide your Taxpayer Authentication Number before revealing ANY of your personal information.
As a Taxpayer you have rights granted to you by law that the IRS and by proxy the private collection agencies must respect. A complete list of your rights can be found at this link: https://www.irs.gov/taxpayer-bill-of-rights
If you believe have been contacted by a group impersonating a collection agency or if you believe the private agency has acted inappropriately, please report this behavior to the IRS at this link: https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report.shtml
The IRS treats these reports very seriously and complaints made through their Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration Hotline are confidential by law.
HOW TO PAY YOUR TAX DEBT
Starting on October 8, 2019 Taxpayers can choose to pay a preauthorized amount through direct debit to make one payment or a series of payments toward their federal tax debt. The Taxpayer will give their written permission to the private collection agency to authorize a payment on the taxpayer’s behalf to the US Department of Treasury. The private collection agency will create a check according to the payment schedule made out to the US Department of the Treasury and will be mailed within 24 hours of the debit.
Taxpayers can still opt to use the electronic payment options available at www.irs.gov/payments instead of this direct debit method. If you choose to make payment by check the payments should be made payable to the US Treasury and sent directly to the IRS.
Please let us know if you have any questions about collection actions.
Thank you! We look forward to serving you again in the future!