The IRS frequently provides notice about potential scams that may be directed at taxpayers. They want people to know exactly what sorts of tricks are being used to obtain sensitive information from individuals.
In many cases, the scammers pretend to work with the IRS or for the agency in an effort to address a problem currently facing the taxpayer. Often, the IRS sends out guidance that says the agency would not be contacting you via a third party, and would be reaching out to you directly if there is an issue of concern.
This may be about to change. Recently, the IRS has started working with private debt collection companies to help secure past-due tax amounts from taxpayers. These companies take over accounts that the IRS is not actively pursuing – either because the debt is old or because the agency does not have enough resources to go after the debt.
The debt collection companies then are allowed to seek repayment of these amounts on behalf of the IRS. The IRS is still the one receiving the funds, not the individual debt collection companies or employees of these organizations.
What this means for you
Before the company reaches out to you about your unpaid tax debt, you will receive notice from the IRS about the debt collection agency’s efforts on behalf of the IRS. This is designed to help reduce the potential confusion or uncertainty about the validity of these companies and their attempts to collect past-due taxes.
It is likely that some taxpayers may still be nervous about working with these companies due to the high number of scams that are often connected to tax issues. You can always contact the IRS directly to determine if the company that has reached out to you is legitimate. Additionally, you can visit the IRS’s website to see a list of the current scams that are known to be targeting taxpayers in various areas.
If you do have past-due taxes, you should consult a tax professional about your options. An experienced attorney will be able to provide you with knowledgeable guidance on the best approach to take in your case.
Additionally, your attorney can discuss what steps to take to make sure that these problems are resolved as efficiently as possible. There may be things that you can do that allow you to protect you from future exposure to penalties from the IRS.