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The IRS is now using private debt collection agencies

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For years, the general rule of thumb for avoiding an IRS phone scam was reassurance from the Internal Revenue Service itself that the agency would never contact taxpayers over the phone — whether to collect a tax debt or about anything else.

But that’s no longer the case.

The IRS is now using private debt collection agencies

Back in September of last year, the IRS announced it would begin using four different private collection firms to handle some overdue federal tax debts. Those companies are CBE Group, Conserve, Performant and Pioneer.

“As a condition of receiving a contract, these agencies must respect taxpayer rights including, among other things, abiding by the consumer protection provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act,” the original announcement said.

According to the IRS, the decision to use private firms was based on several factors — one being a lack of resources to work on all of the cases the agency has to handle, including those involving older, overdue tax accounts.

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