Lawmakers Split Over IRS Contracting Out Program

NTEU’s battle continues against the IRS private tax collection program as lawmakers debate the issue as part of negotiations over an IRS tax administration reform bill.

Congressional negotiators are split over a NTEU-supported provision in the House version of an IRS reform package that would prevent the agency from using private debt collectors to pursue tax debt cases involving low-income taxpayers.

NTEU has long opposed the use of private debt collectors, a program that has failed twice before for being too expensive and subjecting taxpayers to aggressive tactics.

A recent government audit found that private contractors hired to collect overdue federal tax debt are not adequately securing taxpayer data. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration reported that one of the collection companies “could not provide monthly vulnerability scans of systems containing taxpayer data.” And three of the four “were not timely remediating critical- and high-risk vulnerabilities within the required 30 calendar days.”

NTEU is not alone in its opposition to the private tax collection program. The National Taxpayer Advocate voiced concerns about the high cost to administer the program and its unfair treating of lower-income taxpayers.

The union continues to press Congress to fully repeal the congressional mandate that the IRS outsource collection work to for-profit companies and allow IRS employees to do their jobs.

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