Phone Scams Add to Private Tax Collection Concerns

IRS Phone Scam

NTEU is not the only group keeping a watchful eye on the IRS private tax collection program, rolled out in April.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently voiced his own concerns at a House IRS oversight hearing. TIGTA’s concerns are underscored by widespread impersonation scams targeting taxpayers. In these scams, the caller claims to be an IRS employee, demands immediate payment of a tax debt and threatens arrest if it’s not made.

Generally, the IRS does not call taxpayers. However, the private collection agencies do make calls leaving taxpayers confused and vulnerable to the scams.  

For many taxpayers, a call from someone claiming to be collecting overdue tax debt is unsettling. When threats are made that makes the situation worse. Now, those calls could be from an agency with a contract from the IRS and how is a taxpayer supposed to know the difference?

NTEU opposed the legislation mandating the IRS to bring back private collection agencies. Past attempts at such a program have failed costing taxpayers money and leading to abusive tactics on the part of the private collection agencies.

TIGTA initiated an audit to evaluate the IRS’s policies on the program and agency efforts to mitigate risks to taxpayers.

“We have identified numerous concerns during our audit, including the IRS’s lack of commitment to assist taxpayers concerned that the PCAs are part of an impersonation scam, as well as our concerns related to the IRS’s process for receiving taxpayer complaints about PCAs.” said TIGTA Inspector General J. Russell George. 

Arrests were recently made connected to one organized effort at deceiving taxpayers but other scams remain ongoing.

NTEU continues to support legislation that would stop the use of private tax collectors. Take action on this issue