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SU #01: PRIVATE DEBT COLLECTION

Forthcoming Changes to the Private Debt Collection Program Will Better Protect Low-Income Taxpayers and Achieve a Program That More Appropriately Respects Taxpayer Rights

TAS Recommendations and IRS Responses

1
1.

TAS RECOMMENDATION #1-1

Begin immediately excluding from PCA inventory, accounts of taxpayers who have adjusted gross income at or below 200 percent of the FPL, or receive SSI or SSDI, and recall from PCAs cases that currently reside in their inventory and fall into one of these two categories.

IRS RESPONSE TO RECOMMENDATION: None given.

CORRECTIVE ACTION: N/A

TAS RESPONSE: TAS will continue to advocate that the provisions of the Taxpayer First Act, excluding certain types of taxpayer accounts from PCA assignment, namely those taxpayers whose AGI is at or below 200 percent Federal Poverty Level or who receive SSI or SSDI benefits, be implemented as swiftly as possible.

Specifically, TAS will continue to encourage the IRS to reach an agreement with SSA, allowing it to provide  the IRS with data regarding SSI recipients, and to act quickly to adopt an approach for identifying taxpayers who have AGI at or below 200 percent Federal Poverty Level. TAS will continue to advocate for this approach to consider third-party information the IRS has in its possession, such as W-2s and 1099s, to determine if a taxpayer’s AGI is at or below 200 percent Federal Poverty Level when no recent returns have been filed. These advocacy efforts will ensure that all taxpayers who are likely experiencing a financial hardship are excluded from PCA assignment and protected from PCA attempts to collect on outstanding liabilities, which taxpayers may feel obliged to comply with, despite their financial circumstances.

Update: TAS asked IRS to work with Social Security Administration to identify taxpayers with SSI income to exclude them from PDC. After years of working on this the programming is finally in place starting June 27, 2022.

ADOPTED, PARTIALLY ADOPTED or NOT ADOPTED: Adopted

OPEN or CLOSED: Closed

DUE DATE FOR ACTION (if left open): N/A

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2.

TAS RECOMMENDATION #1-2

Not assign a BMF employment tax account to a PCA if a corresponding account with a trust fund recovery penalty resides with the IRS.

IRS RESPONSE TO RECOMMENDATION: None given.

CORRECTIVE ACTION: N/A

TAS RESPONSE: The IRS’s narrative does not address the recommendation set forth in recommendation 1-2.

ADOPTED, PARTIALLY ADOPTED or NOT ADOPTED: Not Adopted

OPEN or CLOSED: Closed

DUE DATE FOR ACTION (if left open): N/A

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3.

TAS RECOMMENDATION #1-3

Reinstate the requirement from the IRS’s first PDC program requiring PCAs to return accounts to the IRS when a satisfactory payment plan or full payment has not been established within 12 months from the date the account was assigned to the PCA.

IRS RESPONSE TO RECOMMENDATION: None given.

CORRECTIVE ACTION: TAS is keeping this open to monitor.

The IRS agrees with implementing a retention period. The IRS is developing the criteria to retain an account, procedures to return or recall, and contractual language that establishes and defines a retention period. This change will likely be implemented with the issuance of a new task order, on or before September 23, 2021.

TAS RESPONSE: TAS will continue to work with the IRS to define the retention period in which taxpayer accounts will be returned to the IRS when the PCAs have been unable to make any progress toward resolving the outstanding liability.

Update: TAS reviewed and after some discussion, decided that because the IRS developed a retention policy that was inadequate, this recommendation should be closed as “not adopted.”

ADOPTED, PARTIALLY ADOPTED or NOT ADOPTED: Not Adopted

OPEN or CLOSED: Closed

DUE DATE FOR ACTION (if left open):

4
4.

TAS RECOMMENDATION #1-4

Conduct a public outreach campaign informing taxpayers that PCAs will require a signed authorization form prior to accepting direct debit payments.

IRS RESPONSE TO RECOMMENDATION: None given.

CORRECTIVE ACTION: N/A

TAS RESPONSE: The IRS’s narrative does not address the recommendation set forth in Recommendation 1-4.

ADOPTED, PARTIALLY ADOPTED or NOT ADOPTED: Not Adopted

OPEN or CLOSED: Closed

DUE DATE FOR ACTION (if left open): N/A

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