I represent taxpayers in Gainesville and the state of Florida who have tax issues with the IRS and Florida Department of Revenue. The IRS has begun using private collection agencies to help collect tax debts. Initial reports are that things are not going well with the program. My advice is to request that the case be reassigned to the regular IRS Collections Division.
The Collection Agencies do not have the power to negotiate an Offer-in-Compromise, remove Levies, or just about anything else. All they can do is to demand payment within 120 days or offer to setup an installment plan. You can make a better deal with the IRS itself.
For more information about the IRS Private Debt Collection program, see https://taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/Media/Default/Documents/Taxpayer_Advocate_Service_on_Private_Debt_Collection_2017.pdf from the Taxpayer Advocate Service.
Finally, some scam warnings. The IRS is cautioning taxpayers about scammers trying to imitate legitimate collection agencies. Specially,
- the IRS said the debt collection agencies will never call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, iTunes gift card or wire transfer (the IRS doesn’t use these payment methods).
- Similarly, legitimate IRS private debt collection agencies won’t ask a taxpayer to make a payment to a person or organization other than the U.S. Treasury, or threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
- Private debt collection agencies are not allowed to demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
If you receive a call where someone makes these demands, your best bet is to simply hang up. To take it a step further you can report the call to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and report the caller ID and callback number to the IRS by sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The taxpayer should write “IRS Phone Scam” in the subject line. They should also report the call to the Federal Trade Commission. When reporting it, they should add “IRS Phone Scam” in the notes.
If you or someone you know has received a Notice of Intent to Levy or some other federal or state tax issue, please feel free to contact me at either (352) 317-5692 or email email@example.com.
Cell (352) 317-5692
Office (352) 376-9401
Fax (352) 376-9440