New Payment Option for Taxpayers in Private Debt Collection Program

09 October 2019

The IRS has announced the addition of a new payment option to the private debt collection program to make it easier for those who owe to pay their tax debts. Accordingly, taxpayers may now choose a pre-authorized direct debit option to make one payment or a series of payments toward their federal tax debts. Interested taxpayers must complete and sign a written authorization which may be submitted by mail or fax to the private collection agency (PCA). Subsequently, a check prepared by the PCA according to the payment schedule would be securely mailed to the IRS within 24 hours.

As opposed to the written permission requirement with direct debt, this payment option would enable taxpayers to conveniently and securely schedule multiple payments with the ease of a single phone call with their assigned PCA. Further, the new payment option would supplement existing IRS-sponsored payment options and can be changed or canceled up to one business day prior to the scheduled payment. However, taxpayers may still opt to use the electronic payment options available on IRS.gov/Paying Your Taxes.

Finally, taxpayers have been advised to be on alert for scammers and identity thieves pretending to be from a PCA, regardless of the payment option chosen. Representatives from one of the four PCAs who contact taxpayers will state that they are from one of the following collection agencies: CBE, Performant, Pioneer or ConServe. These agencies will respect the Taxpayer Bill of Rights and abide by the consumer protection provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Further, a taxpayer will only be contacted after receiving two letters, one from the IRS and one from the PCA, both of which will include a Taxpayer Authentication Number used to authenticate the PCA and to verify the identity of the taxpayer. Suspected phone scam or inappropriate behavior must be reported to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration on their website at www.treasury.gov/tigta, or by calling 800-366-4484.