How to Tell if Debt Collection by the IRS is Legitimate

You may have heard that the IRS has hired four private debt collection agencies to collect unpaid income tax.  These agencies are CBE Group, ConServe, Performant and Pioneer Credit Recovery. This means that consumers may begin receiving collection contact from these agencies.  To tell the difference between a scam and legitimate collection contact on behalf of the IRS, take note of the following key points:

You’ll only be contacted if you have unpaid income tax debt

If you’re contacted out of the blue by someone claiming to be affiliated with the IRS, but know you’ve never been contacted about unpaid taxes before, it’s not legitimate. These firms will be focusing on individuals with unpaid taxes that go back several years. Consumers will have heard from the IRS multiple times already.

You’ll receive a notice in the mail first

The firms acting on behalf of the IRS won’t begin with phone contact. You should receive a letter from both the IRS and the debt collection firm prior to being contacted by phone.

They’ll only ask you to send payments directly to the IRS

Anyone who asks you to remit payment anywhere other than directly to the IRS is illegitimate. Never provide personal financial information like a credit or debit card number over the phone.

They still have to follow the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Working with the IRS does not mean the firms are exempt from complying with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Among other regulations, debt collectors are not permitted to:

  • Threaten or harass you
  • Discuss your debt with anyone other than you
  • Tell you incorrect information about the debt
  • Contact you after 9pm or before 8am, unless you request that they do so

Questions about Debt Collection?

Flitter Milz is a nationally recognized consumer protection law firm that represents victims of abusive debt collection tactics.  Contact Us for a free legal evaluation.