In December 2015, Congress reauthorized under federal law the IRS’ use of third-party debt collection procedures. Four agencies have been contracted to pursue inactive delinquent accounts. The IRS will notify the taxpayer in writing (and their representative with a valid Form 2848) that the account has been referred to a collection agency, providing the name of the agency and a 10-digit identifying code. The agency will issue a separate letter to the taxpayer and any representative that the account has been transferred before making contact by phone. The collector calling has the same 10-digit code along with the taxpayer’s Social Security number and account balance. All payments will be made to the U.S. Treasury. Collectors must respect taxpayers’ rights and abide by the consumer protection provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. These contractors cannot issue levies.
Preparers should be aware that this is another potential market for fraudsters. Red flags would be if the taxpayer did not receive an initial referral notice from the IRS, if the caller asks for the taxpayer’s Social Security number (collector will already have this) or if the caller asks that payment be made to an individual, to a company or through an unusual transaction such as prepaid debit cards. A taxpayer and/or their representative concerned that the call is not legitimate should contact the IRS at the phone number on the letter or decline to work through the private agency. Collectors have no recourse and will refer the case back to the IRS.
See link for list of agencies: