Taxpayers have long taken solace in the knowledge that the IRS would never conduct cold calls in the interest of collecting on tax debt. All that is about to change, with a recent IRS decision paving the way for interference from private firms.
This decision represents a huge departure from the previous IRS policy, which mandated that taxpayers only provide private account information directly to the agency. Skeptics worry that the program will make taxpayers vulnerable to scammers, who could find it easier to pose as legitimate debt collectors.
When And Under What Circumstances Can Private Collectors Call?
According to IRS guidelines, third-party debt collection companies won’t call just any taxpayer. Rather, accounts must meet specific criteria, such as removal of the debt from the IRS active inventory. Additionally, the IRS will continue to shield tax accounts involving minors, victims of identity theft, and taxpayers currently situated in certain combat zones.
Based on a recent revision of IRS policy, debt collectors will be able to obtain personal account information to enable direct deductions. The Federal Trade Commission currently bans this practice for telemarketers.
The Fight Against Private Collector Access
The IRS has sparked its fair share of controversy regarding its new policies for tax account access. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown have repeatedly spoken out against such measures, claiming that private debt collectors have already pressured targeted taxpayers to complete problematic financial transactions. They reference the debt collection program as an “ineffective giveaway to private companies that balances its budget on the backs of low-income taxpayers.”
Given the latest changes at the IRS, it is more important than ever to work with a tax resolution service, which can help you avoid the interference of private debt collectors. Contact us today for more information.