Private Collection Agencies to Pursue U.S. Tax Debts

The on-again/off-again IRS policy of farming out some of their underworked tax cases to quasi-private debt collection companies is… on again.

These companies are scheduled to begin their work . They will work on cases in which the taxpayer has years-old unpaid taxes that the IRS has stopped trying to actively collect for whatever reason.

These private debt collection agencies have no flexibility with which to negotiate the tax debt (they can’t negotiate an offer-in-compromise or adjudicate a dispute over the amount of the debt) and no real power to enforce sanctions (they can’t initiate liens, levies, and seizures). So for the tax resister, having your account handed off to a private debt collection agency is mostly just an opportunity to stonewall.

The agencies are required to follow the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. If you find your case assigned to one of these agencies, you may want to familiarize yourself with the provisions of this act so you can strike back if they try any funny stuff.

The four companies who are going to be pursuing tax debts for the government are CBE Group, Conserve, Performant, and Pioneer.


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