Monday, December 21, 2015

IRS is supposed to start using collection agencies; will this confound the scam phone call problem?

Congress has recently passed a law directing the IRS to use debt collection services to recover receivables from taxpayers.  A column by Joe Davidson in the Federal Diary in the Washington Post, Monday December 21, 2015, p. A14, reports a concern that consumers will get calls that they will believe are scams.  The IRS did not want this policy change, as it has always said it will not collect by phone.  However, taxpayers would get collection notices in the mail before getting calls.
The risk increases for taxpayers who have very complicated returns, where the possibility of major errors increases.

Debt collectors often can negotiate down balances to settle debts, although the deficiencies may continue to harm the consumer’s credit score.  It wasn’t clear if that negotiating power applies here.

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