IRS Hires First Private Collectors

July 1996
EXECUTIVE MEMO

IRS Hires First Private Collectors

The IRS is moving forward with its controversial plan to use private firms to collect unpaid income taxes from businesses and individuals. Early this summer the IRS plans to award three to five contracts to private debt collectors. Each contractor will pursue 25,000 to 40,000 cases a year-a total of about 125,000 taxpayers in 13 states. The pilot program will be the first time the IRS has ever employed private debt collectors.

The IRS isn't breaking precedent willingly: Congress required the tax agency to launch the pilot program. IRS officials refused to discuss the program. However, top IRS and Treasury Department officials have expressed concerns about using private contractors to collect federal tax debts. In testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee's oversight subcommittee in April, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Cynthia G. Beerbower urged the committee "to approach the topic of outsourcing tax debt collection especially cautiously" and voiced concerns "that the protection of the taxpayer rights not be sacrificed in the enthusiasm to increase tax collections."

Private contractors' activities will be limited to locating and contacting delinquent taxpayers by phone or by mail, reminding them of their debts and attempting to arrange a payment schedule. Contractors will have no enforcement or seizure powers and will be required to adhere to an array of federal laws and elaborate operating protocols.

That annoys some contractors. "We don't believe as it's currently structured the pilot is likely to produce useful information," says Saul L. Moskowitz, of the Washington-based law firm of Dean Blakey & Moskowitz and a counsel to the Fair Share Coalition, a group of private debt collectors. Moskowitz says he nevertheless expects a strong industry response. "The general feeling is even though it's very likely to lose money, it's good business to get your foot in the door."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.