collectors for the IRS cannot accept direct payments -- all payments should be
made to the U.S. Treasury. The agency will not require
specific types of paymentssuch as wire transfers or prepaid debit cards.
Scammers prefer these methods because they are hard to trace and can be redeemed
anywhere in the world.
the IRS has an incorrect address, both the agency and its private collectors
should first make contact by mailed letter. In a recent interview, IRS
Commissioner John Koskinen told the Washington Post:
“If you are
surprised to be hearing from us, you’re probably not hearing from us because you
won’t hear from us first by phone.”
who owe tax debt but cannot pay in full will be offered an installment plan for
up to five years. If five years isn’t enough, “the collector asks
for taxpayer financial information to see what sort of deal the taxpayer should
get,” explains Robert W. Wood, who covers taxes and litigation for
- The same rules on
other collectors apply: No calls before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. You must be
sent a written “validation notice” telling you how much money you owe within
five days after first contact. No harassing, abusive or threatening language
- Certain tax bills (and therefore phone calls) cannot be handled by private collectors for the IRS: those for taxpayers who are deceased, under age 18, in a designated combat zone, or a victim of identity theft. Debtors currently in audit, litigation or criminal investigation are also off-limits to third-party hired guns.