IRS to Contract with Four Private Collection Agencies for Back Taxes

Tax debt, Collection, Back taxes, harassment

IR-2016-125, Sept. 26, 2016

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service announced today that it plans to begin private collection of certain overdue federal tax debts next spring and has selected four contractors to implement the new program.

The new program, authorized under a federal law enacted by Congress last December, enables these designated contractors to collect, on the government’s behalf, outstanding inactive tax receivables. 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 IRS has selected the following contractors to carry out this program:

CBE Group
1309 Technology Pkwy
Cedar Falls, IA 50613

Conserve
200 CrossKeys Office park
Fairport, NY 14450

Performant
333 N Canyons Pkwy
Livermore, CA 94551

Pioneer
325 Daniel Zenker Dr
Horseheads, NY 14845

These private collection agencies will work on accounts where taxpayers owe money, but the IRS is no longer actively working their accounts. Several factors contribute to the IRS assigning these accounts to private collection agencies, including older, overdue tax accounts or lack of resources preventing the IRS from working the cases.

The IRS will give each taxpayer and their representative written notice that their account is being transferred to a private collection agency. The agency will then send a second, separate letter to the taxpayer and their representative confirming this transfer.

Private collection agencies will be able to identify themselves as contractors of the IRS collecting taxes. Employees of these collection agencies must follow the provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and must be courteous and respect taxpayer rights.

The IRS will do everything it can to help taxpayers avoid confusion and understand their rights and tax responsibilities, particularly in light of continual phone scams where callers impersonate IRS agents and request immediate payment.

Private collection agencies will not ask for payment on a prepaid debit card. Taxpayers will be informed about electronic payment options for taxpayers on IRS.gov/payments. Payment by check should be payable to the U.S. Treasury and sent directly to IRS, not the private collection agency.

The IRS will continue to keep taxpayers informed about scams and provide tips for protecting themselves. The IRS encourages taxpayers to visit IRS.gov for information including the “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” page.

For more information visit the Private Debt Collection page on IRS.gov.

https://www.irs.gov/uac/newsroom/new-private-debt-collection-program-to-begin-next-spring-irs-to-contract-with-four-agencies-taxpayer-rights-protected

If you are contacted by IRS Collections or one of these newly contracted collection agents don’t try to handle it yourself. Call 303-847-4038 and get professional help from Arena and Associates, Inc.

Tax Deductions for Self-Employed Individuals

Being self-employed means taking on costs and risks that you don’t have when you work for someone else. While most self-employed people celebrate the freedom of not having a boss, they often cringe at the sight of their taxes.

With the high rising costs of doing business and securing your own health insurance, it is important that you get all the tax write-offs you are entitled to in order to thrive and survive.

Here are some tax deductions that can benefit self-employed individuals and small business owners alike.

Home office

The cost of any workspace that is especially devoted to your business, whether you own or rent it, can be deducted as a home office expense. This allows you to deduct a portion of your utilities, repairs, home improvement and rent or mortgage payments to your home.

To calculate your deduction, measure your work area and divide it by the square footage of your home. Then, multiply that by the home’s expenses for the year.

Health insurance premiums

If you are paying for your family’s health insurance out of your pocket, then you can deduct 100% of your premiums as an adjustment to your business income.

Vehicle and mileage

The IRS also allows you deduct the cost of using your car for your business. Keep a record of the miles you drive business-related activities and deduct the dollar value of business miles travelled on your tax return. Be sure that personal and business use is completely separated.

Phone and internet

You are also entitled to deduct your phone and internet expenses. If you only one have phone in the house, it means that the phone is used for both personal and business purposes. That said, you shouldn’t deduct the entire monthly bill. The key is to deduct the expenses that are directly related to your business.

Educational expenses

Think about any classes, workshops, seminars you’ve attended to improve your job or business. All of these are tax-deductible. Also, don’t forget, books, magazines and other research materials.