United States

IRS Using Private Debt Collection Agencies to Chase Down Debts

The IRS says it is "taking steps throughout this effort to ensure that the private collection firms work responsibly"

The Internal Revenue Service is getting some outside help collecting unpaid taxes, opting to use private companies to tackle a growing backlog of debt, NBC News reported.

Four debt collection agencies are being used to round up outstanding payments from taxpayers who have been contacted numerous times, according to an announcement made this month.

The agencies won't use robocalls to contact taxpayers, the IRS told NBC News, and they must follow the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

The IRS is "taking steps throughout this effort to ensure that the private collection firms work responsibly," IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a statement. But consumer groups and the National Treasury Employees Union are worried about harassment and other forms of abuse.

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