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Alerts

Jan. 3rd 2017
 
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Nov. 15th 2016
 

Changes to 2017 Tax Due Dates

For 2017 some tax filing dates have been changed...
 
Corporations filing Form 1120 or 1120-A are due on April 15th 2017
Partnerships filing a previous calendar year return (Form 1065) are due on March 15th 2017
 
See our Due Dates page for a full list.
 
 
 
 
Sept. 29th 2016
 

Private debt collection program to begin next spring

 
 

IRS has announced that it plans to begin private collection of certain overdue federal tax debts next spring and has selected four contractors to implement the new program.

Background. Code Sec. 6306 was enacted as part of to the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (P.L 108-357). The 2004 legislation provided that nothing prevented IRS from entering into "qualified tax collection contracts" with private collection agencies (PCAs) to assist in the collection of delinquent federal tax debts.

The Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (P.L. 114-94, signed into law on Dec. 4, 2015) added new Code Sec. 6306(c) which provides, "notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary shall enter into one more qualified tax collection contracts for the collection of all outstanding inactive tax receivables." New Code Sec. 6306(d), which was also added by the FAST Act, excludes certain receivables from the definition of outstanding inactive tax receivables.

A tax receivable means any outstanding assessment which IRS includes in potentially collectible inventory. An inactive tax receivable means any tax receivable if:

  • at any time after assessment, IRS removes the receivable from the active inventory for lack of resources or inability to locate the taxpayer;
  • more than ⅓ of the period of the applicable statute of limitation has lapsed, and the receivable has not been assigned for collection to any IRS employee; or
  • in the case of a receivable which has been assigned for collection, more than 365 days have passed without interaction with the taxpayer or a third party for purposes of furthering the collection of the receivable. ( Code Sec. 6306(c))

 

A tax receivable is not eligible for collection under a qualified tax collection contract if the receivable:

  • is subject to a pending or active offer-in-compromise or installment agreement;
  • is classified as an innocent spouse case;
  • involves a taxpayer identified by IRS as being (a) deceased, (b) under the age of 18, (c) in a designated combat zone, or (d) a victim of tax-related identity theft;
  • is currently under examination, litigation, criminal investigation, or levy; or
  • is currently subject to a proper exercise of a right of appeal under the Code. ( Code Sec. 6306(d))

 

Private tax debt collection. IRS selected the following contractors to carry out the new program:

  • CBE Group, 1309 Technology Pkwy, Cedar Falls, IA 50613;
  • Conserve, 200 CrossKeys Office Park, Fairport, NY 14450;
  • Performant, 333 N Canyons Pkwy, Livermore, CA 94551; and
  • Pioneer, 325 Daniel Zenker Dr, Horseheads, NY 14845

 

The new private debt collection program allows designated contractors to collect outstanding inactive tax receivables on IRS's behalf. Thus, the private collection agencies will work on accounts where taxpayers owe money, but IRS is no longer actively working their accounts. IRS notes that several factors contribute to IRS assigning these accounts to private collection agencies, including their being older, overdue tax accounts or IRS's lack of resources.

IRS will give each taxpayer and his representative written notice that their account is being transferred to a private collection agency. The private collection agency will then send a second, separate letter to the taxpayer and his representative confirming this transfer.

Private collection agencies will be able to identify themselves as contractors of IRS. Employees of these collection agencies must follow the provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and must be courteous and respect taxpayer rights.

IRS advises that private collection agencies will not ask for payment on a prepaid debit card. Taxpayers will be informed about electronic payment options for taxpayers on the website "Pay Your Tax Bill." Payment by check should be payable to the U.S. Treasury and sent directly to IRS, not the private collection agency.

 
 
 
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Special Alert from the IRS

The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration continue to hear from taxpayers who have received unsolicited calls from individuals demanding payment while fraudulently claiming to be from the IRS.

Based on the 90,000 complaints that TIGTA has received through its telephone hotline, to date, TIGTA has identified approximately 1,100 victims who have lost an estimated $5 million from these scams.

"There are clear warning signs about these scams, which continue at high levels throughout the nation," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "Taxpayers should remember their first contact with the IRS will not be a call from out of the blue, but through official correspondence sent through the mail. A big red flag for these scams are angry, threatening calls from people who say they are from the IRS and urging immediate payment. This is not how we operate. People should hang up immediately and contact TIGTA or the IRS."

Additionally, it is important for taxpayers to know that the IRS:

  • Never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone.
  • Never insists that taxpayers use a specific payment method to pay tax obligations
  • Never requests immediate payment over the telephone and will not take enforcement action immediately following a phone conversation. Taxpayers usually receive prior notification of IRS enforcement action involving IRS tax liens or levies.

 

Potential phone scam victims may be told that they owe money that must be paid immediately to the IRS or they are entitled to big refunds. When unsuccessful the first time, sometimes phone scammers call back trying a new strategy.

 

Other characteristics of these scams include:

  • Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
  • Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim's Social Security number.
  • Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it's the IRS calling.
  • Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
  • Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
  • After threatening victims with jail time or driver's license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.

 

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here's what you should do:

 

  • If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue, if there really is such an issue.
  • If you know you don't owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you've never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to TIGTA at 1.800.366.4484.
  • If you've been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their "FTC Complaint Assistant" at FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.

 

Taxpayers should be aware that there are other unrelated scams (such as a lottery sweepstakes) and solicitations (such as debt relief) that fraudulently claim to be from the IRS.

 

The IRS encourages taxpayers to be vigilant against phone and email scams that use the IRS as a lure. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS also does not ask for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts. Recipients should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message. Instead, forward the email to phishing@irs.gov.

For more information or to report a scam, go to www.irs.gov and type "scam" in the search box.

More information on how to report phishing scams involving the IRS is available on the genuine IRS website, IRS.gov.