IRS Revs Up Mandated Private Tax-Debt Collection

With hopes of shaving off some of the estimated $458 billion in taxes that go uncollected, the Internal Revenue Service on Tuesday announced the launch of its congressionally required program to farm out efforts to collect long-standing tax debts owed the government…. The National Treasury Employees Union on Tuesday called the announcement “an unwelcome development that will waste taxpayer money and further endanger taxpayers who are already targeted by financial scams and identity thieves.”

“Every time this has been tried before, it has failed,” said NTEU National President Tony Reardon. “But once again Congress has forced this policy on the IRS, and we expect the results to be the same: collection agents getting paid to harass taxpayers, many of whom need assistance, not threats.”

NTEU also questioned how much money the IRS has already spent re-starting this program, including reviewing the bids from the contractors and setting up the process for monitoring their work.

“Unlike private debt collectors, IRS employees have a variety of tools at their disposal with which they can help taxpayers facing financial difficulties meet their tax obligations,” the union said.  

(Charles S. Clark, GovExec, April 5)