Vermont officials warn about tax scams as deadline nears

The IRS announced today that it will start using private debt collection companies to try to collect overdue taxes. The use of private collections agencies was part of a bill passed in December 2015.

Some people may have neglected to file a 2013 return because they had too little income for the law to require it, according to the IRS, but a refund could be waiting for those whose taxes were taken out of their paychecks or those who paid quarterly estimated tax.

After years of saying they won't call you to demand payments like scammers, the IRS is now hiring debt collectors to call and demand payments. The program will grow to 1,000 accounts a week by the end of summer.

If your case will be farmed out to a private collection firm, the IRS will notify you and your tax representative first by letter.

"They scare them. They threaten Vermonters with taking them to federal court, to freeze all their assets, to subject them to criminal penalties", Donovan says.

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Payment will not be requested by wire transfer or prepaid debit card.

Donovan says that if people suspect they've gotten a call from an IRS scammer, they should report it to his office by calling 800 649-2424, or by calling the IRS directly at 800 829-1040.

"How much time and money has the IRS expended sending the message that the IRS will not call you, will not attempt to collect taxes over the phone?" noted Gail Perry, CPA, editor-in-chief of CPA Practice Advisor.

Callers worked off scripts posing as agents for the IRS or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The phony tax collectors gave her names and badge numbers, and phone numbers for return calls, she said.

If a taxpayer doesn't file and claim the refunds by the deadline, the refund cash becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury. But it sparked a political and ideological debate over the value of public employees and government privatization.

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In a letter last week to a House appropriations subcommittee, 48 Democrats including Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota urged that Congress boost IRS spending by $1.7 billion in the coming year rather than impose further cutbacks.

"Every time this has been tried before, it has failed", NTEU National President Tony Reardon said in a statement. Some of the early cases will involve less than $50,000 owed. Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we're all after. These include the ability to postpone, extend or suspend collection activities for limited periods of time; making available flexible payment schedules; the possibility of waiving late penalties or postponing asset seizures and Offers In Compromise (OIC), an agreement between a struggling taxpayer and the agency that settles a tax debt for less than the full amount owed.

No Apparent Health Insurance - The Affordable Care Act requires that you have health insurance or you must pay a penalty (for 2017) of the greater of 2.5% of your income, or $695 per each adult not covered, plus $347.50 per child not covered. However, new developments in how the IRS is collecting some debt could cause some confusion.

They are: CBE Group of Cedar Falls, Iowa; Conserve Of Fairport, New York; Performant of Livermore, California, and Pioneer of Horseheads, New York.

Whether or not a taxpayer's account is assigned to a private collection agency, the IRS warns taxpayers to beware of scammers pretending to be from the IRS or an IRS contractor.

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"It's important to note that the IRS doesn't take financial information over the phone, so any scammers who ask for such information are just that", he said.


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