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IRS Hiring Private Debt Collectors

No one likes paying taxes and it might be counter-intuitive but the IRS actually has a pretty good reputation among consumer protection attorneys and members of the public who have to deal with them. Generally speaking, people who have to deal with the IRS to pay back taxes, late taxes or to clear up mistakes on their tax returns generally report that IRS employees are not very aggressive and generally respectful. Broadly speaking, they tend to treat the public a LOT better than most private debt collectors do. Unfortunately, companies that they hired in the past did not treat people nearly as well. In 2006 the IRS hired a series of private companies to try to collect on people who owed money to them. There were widespread reports of harassment and abuse on the part of the companies that the IRS hired. The program did not even result in a gain in revenue by the IRS, it was so expensive that it cost slightly more to pay the debt collectors than the debt collectors even brought in. That program was retired in 2009.

Since then I have spoken with many people who have been the target of criminals and con artists claiming to work for the IRS. The scammers tend to be highly aggressive, pushy and rude, something that the IRS’s actual staff are not. That made identifying actual criminals pretty easy.

Unfortunately, the IRS just brought their private collections program back and will soon begin hiring private collection agencies to collect on back taxes again. Under this new program anyone who is the subject of collection activities from debt collectors hired by the IRS is supposed to get a letter in the mail first which might help to a degree, but what happens if the IRS does not have your current address?

If you are being contacted by debt collectors and you are not sure if they work for the IRS or not or if other debt collectors are harassing you about other debts, call our office for help. If you want to contact the IRS directly to find out if they have hired a collection agency to collect taxes from you, you can contact them here:

This document has been provided for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. Please consult your attorney in connection with any legal issues related to the matters discussed in this article as the applicability of state, local and federal laws may vary.