As a condition of receiving a contract, these private collection agencies must respect taxpayer rights including, among other things, abiding by the consumer protection provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
These private collection agencies will work on accounts where taxpayers owe money, but the IRS is no longer actively working them. Several factors contribute to the IRS assigning these accounts to private collection agencies, including older, overdue tax accounts or lack of resources preventing the IRS from working the cases.
Private collection agencies will be able to identify themselves as contractors of the IRS collecting taxes. Employees of these collection agencies must follow provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and should be courteous and respect taxpayer rights.
In light of continual phone scams where callers impersonate IRS agents and request immediate payment, taxpayers should be extremely cautious if contacted by one of these private collection agencies. The IRS will give taxpayers and their representative written notice that the accounts are being transferred to the private collection agencies. The agencies will send a second, separate letter to the taxpayer and their representative confirming this transfer. Do not speak with someone claiming to be from a private collection agency unless you have received those two letters.
Private collection agencies will not ask for payment on a prepaid debit, iTunes or gift card. Taxpayers will be informed about electronic payment options for taxpayers on IRS.gov/Pay Your Tax Bill. Payment by check should be to the U.S. Treasury and sent directly to IRS, not the private collection agency.
The IRS has selected the following four private collection agencies -
- CBE - Waterloo, IA
- ConServe - Fairport, NY
- Performant - Pleasanton, CA
- Pioneer - Horseheads, NY
IRS will not assign accounts to private collection agencies involving taxpayers who are:
- Under the age of 18
- In designated combat zones
- Victims of tax-related identity theft
- Currently under examination, litigation, criminal investigation or levy
- Subject to pending or active offers in compromise
- Subject to an installment agreement
- Subject to a right of appeal
- Classified as innocent spouse cases
- In presidentially declared disaster areas and requesting relief from collection
Taxpayers continue to have the right to be represented if collection action is initiated by one of these private collection agencies. Nancy Turner Egbert, an Enrolled Agent with unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS, will be happy to help you. Please contact her at 530626-8551 or firstname.lastname@example.org