CAN THE IRS USE COLLECTION AGENCIES TO COME AFTER YOU FOR BACK TAXES?

2015’s passing of the FAST Act reauthorized the IRS to use third-party debt collectors. However, this reintroduction comes after several previous stints of IRS enlisting the help of private collectors.

In both 1996-1997 and 2006-2009, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service called on private debt collectors to help track down taxpayers with unresolved federal debts. However, each of these attempts to outsource collections functions resulted in failure, yielding fewer collections than initially projected, wasting money, and contributing to large-scale inequities in the U.S. tax collection system.

Congress passed Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) in December of 2015. Though the bill was technically a highway bill, the FAST Act included a debt-collection section that essentially granted the IRS the ability to once again use private debt collectors for recouping outstanding tax debts from citizens. Since the passing of the FAST Act, the IRS has since hired a total of four private debt collection agencies: ConServe, Performant Recovery, CBE Group, and Pioneer.

Thus far, reports have shown that in 2019 alone, the IRS was able to collect nearly $213 million in debt through use of their contracted collection agencies. This marked the largest amount of money recovered since the program’s 2015 inception.

Which Private Collection Agencies Are Contracted by the IRS?
As of 2020, the IRS currently contracts the four following private collection agencies:

  1. CBE
    P.O. Box 2217

Waterloo, IA 50704

800-910-5837

  1. ConServe
    P.O. Box 307

Fairport, NY 14450

844-853-4875

  1. Performant
    P.O. Box 9045

Pleasanton, CA 94566

844-807-9367

  1. Pioneer
    PO Box 500

Horseheads, NY 14845

800-448-3531

What Types of Tax Debts do IRS Private Collectors Handle?

As mentioned before, IRS-contracted private debt collectors are only allowed to collect on certain types of federal tax debts. According to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, “you won’t get a call from a private collection firm unless you have unpaid tax debts going back several years and you’ve already heard from the IRS multiple times.”

There are a number of ineligible back taxes that IRS-contracted collectors are not authorized to requisition, including:

Accounts with an Offer in Compromise agreement
Accounts with an IRS installment agreement
Innocent Spouse cases
Victims of tax-related identity theft
Accounts for minors
Accounts for the deceased
Taxpayers in designated combat zones
Taxpayers in federally-declared disaster areas who have requested relief

If you fail to pay your taxes, the IRS can even lay claim to your personal assets to satisfy your repayments with a tax lien. In this case, you can file IRS Form 12153 to appeal the decision.

GET TAX RELIEF HELP TODAY
If you think that you may need help filing your 2018/2019 tax return or past due tax returns, you may want to partner with a reputable tax relief company who can help you get the max refund and reduce your chances for an IRS AUDIT.

Advance Tax Relief is headquartered in Houston, TX with a branch office in Los Angeles, CA. We help many individuals just like you solve a wide variety of IRS and State tax issues, including penalty waivers, wage garnishments, bank levy, tax audit representation, back tax return preparation, small business form 941 tax issues, the IRS Fresh Start Initiative, Offer In Compromise and much more. Our Top Tax Attorneys, Accountants and Tax Experts are standing by ready to help you resolve or settle your IRS back tax problems.

Advance Tax Relief is rated one of the best tax relief companies nationwide.

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