Beware X-Pats: The IRS Uses Private Debt Collectors

IRS Private Debt Collectors

If you are a U.S. expat, you must realize that just because you are not physically residing in the United States, you’re not relieved from paying your tax bills in the U.S. Moreover, due to some tax treaties, you may have to deal with a bigger tax burden.

Many overseas taxpayers are not aware that they can dodge or minimize double-taxation. As a result, huge tax bills accumulate over time, crippling their finances. Some time ago, it was considered possible that the IRS may have given up any hope to collect these old tax bills.

However, these owed tax bills can return to haunt expats around as private debt collection agencies are tasked to collect these tax bills. As an expat, don’t be surprised when a debt collector calls you. We can guide you on how to save yourself from these private debt collectors.

What If I Get a Call from a Private Debt Collector?

Some time ago, tax preparation companies confidently used to assure their clients that the IRS would never ask for payment of tax bills via phone calls. Still, scammers exploited several American taxpayers who were not consulting with a tax preparation company. These people were deceived and lost a great deal of money—hundreds and millions of dollars.

However, as the private debt collectors have emerged out of nowhere, they are authorized to call taxpayers. The situation has become quite muddled and confusing for everyone and instead allowed those scams to flourish further.

Private debt collection firms and the IRS are supposed to balance the risks by notifying their initiative for using a private debt collector to resolve outstanding tax bills. Keep in mind that such notices will always come in writing, one from the private collector and one from the IRS. While these notices are good enough to notify an average U.S. taxpayer, they do not bode well for those who live abroad. Usually, expats rarely look into their U.S. mailboxes. Other factors also come into play that can stop mail delivery to their addresses. Therefore, it is possible that a judge may call a taxpayer to determine the accuracy of claims by an “alleged” private collector, whereas they don’t have the benefits of notice.

At a bare minimum, taxpayers who live abroad must note that until now, IRS has only partnered with four companies to serve the role of private tax collectors. Therefore, to check if your caller is a scammer, ask them to provide their identity; if they fail to identify themselves from any of these four companies, you can instantly determine that they are engaged in fraudulent activity. Following are the companies that have been authorized by the IRS to serve as tax debt collectors.

  • ConServe P.O. Box 307 Fairport, NY 14450-0307 1-844-853-4875
  • Pioneer PO Box 500 Horseheads, NY 14845 1-800-448-3531
  • Performant P.O. Box 9045 Pleasanton,  CA 94566-9045 1-844-807-9367
  • CBE P.O. Box 2217 Waterloo, IA 50704 1-800-910-5837

When you get a call from a professional who claims to belong to the above-mentioned companies, and you still want to ensure that they are credible, we are here to help you.

Seek Tax Relief with the Help of a Tax Preparation Company

If you are greeted by a surprise call from a collector with respect to huge tax debt, perhaps you are wondering how to decrease your tax bill, or remove it altogether.

Some of the taxpayers can benefit if they file a request to take advantage of an offer-in-compromise. This option allows taxpayers to reach an agreement in which they can get a tax debt that is lower than the original debt’s face value. However, it is hard to obtain offers-in-compromise.

In divorce cases, a viable solution to decrease or remove your tax liability is the use of innocent spouse relief. This option can save a minimally involved or completely uninvolved spouse from the mistakes or wrongdoing that was done by their spouses. In many cases, considerable tax relief is achieved by using innocent spouse relief.

As U.S. expat that rightfully fears that a private tax debt collector is soon going to call them regarding their old tax debts, you need a reputable and reliable tax preparation company to manage your tax bills. Contact us today so we can answer all your tax-based queries and resolve your tax-based issues.  

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