Originally published at AVVO.com
Pursuant to a law passed by Congress last year, the IRS has hired four private debt collection agencies to contact taxpayers about their back taxes. This is highly unusual, and can cause fear and confusion among citizens who owe tax, but also have heard of the many tax scams currently going on.
What Can These Private Collection Agencies Do?
They can call you at reasonable hours, remind you of your past due taxes, and assist you in making payment, or entering into an Installment Agreement. According to the law, they must obey the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and also must identify themselves as government contractors.
What Are The Exceptions To This New Program, and What Can You Do If You Do Not Want To Participate?
If you do not want to deal with these collection agencies, and they contact you, you should immediately contact your tax attorney. Alternatively, you can send a letter to the agency telling them that you prefer to deal directly with the IRS, and not a debt collector that is not a government employee. You should not ever be contacted by a private collector if you are an identity theft victim, if you are currently being audited by the IRS, if you currently have an Installment Agreement in effect, if you currently have an IRS Appeal pending, if you have an Innocent Spouse claim pending, or are in a federally declared disaster area.