As many people expected would happen after the change of administrations in Washington, the IRS has dropped its policy of outsourcing some of its collections to private debt collection agencies.
This was one of the many experiments in potemkin “privatization” the government has engaged in of late. For us tax resisters, the upshot was that instead of having the IRS calling us up and sending us nasty letters demanding that we pay up, we might instead find ourselves getting those calls and letters from “Pioneer Credit Recovery” or some such.
These private debt collection agencies had no flexibility with which to negotiate the tax debt (they couldn’t negotiate an offer-in-compromise or adjudicate a dispute over the amount of the tax debt) and no real power to enforce sanctions (they couldn’t initiate liens, levies, and seizures). So for the tax resister, having your account handed off to a private debt collection agency was mostly just an opportunity to stonewall.
But in any case, the program is no more. The existing contracts end . The IRS says that it hopes to be able to hire more enforcement personnel in-house to take on the work they had been outsourcing.