The IRS has begun  using debt agencies

To help prevent tax scams, the Better Business Bureau is cautioning the public.

The Internal Revenue Service will use 4 third-party debt collection firms this month, but the Better Business Bureau is cautioning the public to be aware and make sure the calls from debt companies are legitimate.

On the BBB website, there are 4 companies that will be contracted to the IRS to collect taxes that have been outstanding for several years. Those companies are Performant of Livermore in California with area code 925; CBE Group of Cedar Falls in Iowa with area code 866; Pioneer from Horseheads in New York using area code 877 and Conserve of Fairport in New York with area code 585.

The BBB states that the IRS will make repeated contacts regarding overdue taxes via mail and phone several times before using a debt collection company. Taxpayers will always be notified by the IRS before their info is given to a debt collection firm. The independent company and the IRS will send letters to the taxpayer before any collection calls are made.

Secondly, the BBB noted that debt collectors are not allowed by federal law to harass citizens. The call is usually a scammer if they use profanity, shouts or threaten to arrest the taxpayer for nonpayment. The client is advised to hang up right away.

Thirdly, the companies are not allowed to ask for credit card numbers via the phone. Any payments are to the IRS directly, not the collections company. No kind of payments is to be made via phone either by credit card or by any other method. The recipient is advised to end the call right away if the collections caller asks for payment via the phone and is usually a scammer. Go to www.irs.gov/payments to see acceptable methods of payments.

If you don’t feel comfortable when a third-party company contacts you, there is the option to request that the account be reverted to the IRS.  If you owe money to the IRS from previous years, you can confirm the amount owing by going to www.irs.gov/balancedue.

When working with delinquent taxpayers, the IRS will often allow for appeals or set up payment plans.

As Florida Debt Collection Attorneys, we are watching this new direction very closely.  There are many legal questions that are sure to arise.  In the meantime, work with “real” debt collectors, and do your best to stay free of the scammers that are inevitable to come calling.

 

 

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