New development could cause scammers to capitalize on potential confusion
Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, is cautioning consumers to be aware of the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) new policy of using private debt collection companies to collect unpaid taxes.
Under the new protocol, the IRS has authorized four private debt collection companies to collect unpaid taxes. They are CBE Group of Cedar Falls, IA; Conserve of Fairport, NY; Performant of Livermore, CA; and Pioneer of Horseheads, NY. Only one of these companies will contact you in the event you owe money to the IRS.
Here is what you need to know about this new development:
- If you have an overdue balance on your account, the IRS will first send you a letter informing you that it is giving your information to one of the four companies listed above, providing the company name and contact information.
- The debt collector will then send you a letter confirming the account turnover prior to contacting you by phone.
- Upon calling you, they will be able to discuss payment options, but the only way you can pay your tax debt is electronically or by check payable to the US Treasury.
“The IRS’s use of private debt collection companies to collect unpaid taxes is in the spirit of efficiency, but may create confusion for those already susceptible to the IRS impersonation scam, like our nation’s seniors,” said Senator Collins. “I urge consumers to remain vigilant and protect themselves from potential scams that could stem from this new development.”
If you know you don’t owe taxes or do not immediately believe that you do, you can report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1-800-366-4484.
To read more about this change from the IRS, click HERE.
Never give personal information, such as bank account or credit card numbers, to someone you do not know. If you suspect fraud, please contact the Aging Committee’s Fraud Hotline at 1-855-303-9470.