I.R.S. Outsourcing Cases to Private Debt Collection Agencies

The IRS is planning to go ahead with its plan to turn over some tax debts to private debt collection agencies, perhaps as early as :

The Internal Revenue Service has informed employees that it will begin using private debt collectors to track down tax delinquents starting in .

“I’m going to do everything I can to get every nickel that is owed to the government by people who haven’t paid their taxes,” IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson said .

The IRS has estimated that debt collectors could pull in about $1.4 billion over 10 years. Under a law, the IRS has hired three companies and will pay them on a sliding scale — from 21 cents to 24 cents for each dollar collected.

Everson said “a modest number of cases” will be turned over to the companies at the start, promising to “ramp this up deliberately and very carefully” to ensure that taxpayer privacy is protected.

This next paragraph from the news report puzzles me. Does this mean that if a private debt collection agency comes after you, you can request in writing from the agency and the IRS to knock it off and go back to the old way of being pursued directly by the IRS?

According to an agency message, IRS employees will refer taxpayers with questions about debt collection notices to the private companies. If taxpayers choose not to work with a debt collector, they must notify the contractor and the IRS in writing, the IRS told employees.

Russell Kanning’s sentencing hearing has been moved up to the morning of .

Fred Ecks dropped me a link and a complement in a post of his about socially responsible investing that asks some questions I’ve wrestled with as well. How does socially responsible stock picking work? In what way do you support the actions of a company by buying that company’s stock on the market, and in what way do you discourage their actions by buying another stock instead? One commenter suggests leaving the stock market behind entirely and investing directly in “a socially responsible business, founding a co-op or franchise that does socially responsible business.”