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IRS Announces Use of Private Debt Collectors

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is now working with private debt collection agencies to recover unpaid tax debts. Scammers could attempt to capitalize on potential confusion created by this new development. Here’s what you need to know.
How it Works:

  • If you have a long overdue federal tax account, IRS will mail you a letter informing you that it is turning over your account to a private debt collection agency. The letter will provide the name of the company and contact information.
  • The private debt collector will then send you a letter confirming the account transfer before contacting you by phone.
  • The debt collector will be able to discuss payment options with you, but the only way you can pay your tax debt is electronically or by check, payable to the US Treasury.
What You Should Know:
The IRS authorized only four private debt collection agencies to collect tax debt, and only one of them will contact you if you owe federal taxes. The agencies are CBE Group of Cedar Falls, IA; Conserve of Fairport, NY; Performant of Livermore, CA; and Pioneer of Horseheads, NY.
What You Should Do:

  • Remain vigilant to the IRS imposter scam: if you do not have federal tax debt, then you will not get a call from IRS or a private debt collector demanding payment.
  • If you are unsure if you owe federal taxes, look up your account at
When it comes to fraud, vigilance is our number one weapon. You have the power to protect yourselves and your loved ones from scams. Please share this alert with friends and family.


P.S. Spotted a scam?  Tell us about it.  Our scam-tracking map gives you information about the latest scams targeting people in your state.  You’ll also find first-hand accounts from scam-spotters who are sharing their experiences so you know how to protect yourself and your family.
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