In our last post, we began looking at IRS initiative to collect certain types of tax debts by using third party contractors. One concern taxpayers are bound to have about the effort is how to protect themselves from being scammed. There are several measures the IRS has set for to address this issue.
First of all, the IRS will reportedly provide written notification to taxpayers and their representatives that their accounts have been assigned for private collections. In addition, the collection agencies are required to send separate notification confirming the transfer of the taxpayer’s account. Taxpayers do have the ability to object in writing to the transfer of their account.
In addition to this, there are several points of which taxpayers should be aware:
- The IRS contractors may represent themselves as IRS contractors
- They will not ask for payment on prepaid debit cards, as many scammers do
- They will provide information about electronic payment options
- Check payments are to be paid to the IRS rather than the collection agencies
The IRS contractors are, like any debt collectors, bound by the requirements of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Although it is unlikely that the IRS collection efforts will result in violations of the law, it is important for taxpayers to be aware of the possibility and to contact an experienced attorney if they feel they are being harassed or subjected to abusive, deceptive or unfair debt collection practices.