Expect to hear from the IRS again about phone calls regarding tax debts. What will differentiate this announcement from those made in the past? This time the IRS may say that some calls can be legitimate. Under a law that went into effect in December, the IRS is required to use private debt collectors to arrange payment of certain back taxes. Does that mean your phone will be ringing?
Maybe, as scammers try to capitalize on the new requirement. But here's a good rule of thumb: Generally, if you're not expecting to hear from the IRS, the caller is probably not the IRS.
The type of debt the law requires the IRS to turn over to the collectors is known as "inactive tax receivables." Those are amounts that are potentially collectible, yet are not being actively pursued by the IRS. The debt must meet certain criteria such as the IRS not being able to collect due to a lack of resources or to the inability to locate the person who owes the back taxes.
The law also specifies what debt the IRS cannot turn over to collectors. For example, if you have a pending or active offer-in-compromise or installment agreement, the IRS can't send your tax bill to a private collection center.
Contact us if you receive any communication from the IRS — or from someone purporting to represent the IRS. We're here to help.
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