Undoubtedly, no American feels good about a pending tax bill, especially considering how 2020 devastated finances.
Deductions from a paycheck are one thing, but when you find yourself out of work, scrambling to make ends meet, it only makes sense that you wouldn’t prioritize the IRS. The same goes for independent business owners struggling to balance income against expenses; write-offs don’t always work their magic enough to make estimated payments obsolete.
First the mail, then the phone
It’s an uphill battle to get back to “normal” after shutdowns and social distancing. Unexpectedly looking for a job, maximizing available credit or falling behind on mortgage payments is overwhelming for individuals in every income bracket. Still, the government allows no reprieve for taxpayers.
You may soon receive an official notice – as if you aren’t already aware of what you owe – addressing your liability. Fun fact: you might receive calls after that.
Did you know private collection agencies can work on recovering tax debt?
There seems to be a general assumption that the IRS doesn’t call people…and that’s true…they contract that task.
It’s not like anticipating an unwelcome surprise party, though. Regulators will let you know they assigned your account to a private party.
Debt collectors from one of the four designated agencies (Pioneer, Performant, ConServe or CBE) only deal with specific delinquencies. For example, there’s probably not much fear in answering a call from an unknown number unless:
- It’s been a minimum of 365 days since your last interaction about debt repayment with the Service
- You have an outstanding tax bill but failed to establish an installment agreement
- IRS inability to locate you resulted in removal from its active inventory
You also shouldn’t receive communication from a collector during deployment to a designated combat zone, after reporting identity theft or if you’ve filed an innocent spouse case.
The rules still apply
Just as your financial contributions aren’t negotiable, neither is fair debt collection. Among other illegal actions, owing money does not give representatives the right to:
- Make threats
- Accuse you of committing a crime
- Misrepresent themselves
- Falsify credit information
Additionally, collectors can’t call you after you go through the proper channels to cease communication. They could, however, move forward with a lawsuit.
Things don’t have to go that far
Regardless of how broke you feel or disagreements you hold with the administration, you will pay your taxes – one way or another. Maintain some semblance of control over your financial situation, and your dignity, by exploring your repayment options.
Your circumstances could provide viable solutions that don’t involve private agency involvement. After all, your phone should facilitate communication – not instill fear. Reach out to the Law Offices of Robert T. Leonard, for more information on this matter.