Unfortunately, scammers have learned to adapt to the ins and outs of technology, making it difficult for many Americans to differentiate between a real inquiry or a scam. The IRS is aware of this issue and has contracted with three private-sector collection agencies, or PCAs, to contact and collect from you, an American taxpayer.
The three PCAs are: CBE Group, Inc.; Coast Professional, Inc.; and ConServe. If you receive an email or letter from an agency claiming to collect on behalf of the IRS but it is not from one of these three PCAs, it is a scam.
Additionally, the IRS follows a specific procedure when utilizing PCAs. First, the IRS will send you and your tax representative a letter indicating that you were assigned to a PCA. In the letter, the IRS will provide you with the PCA’s name and contact information, along with a description of the next steps in the collection process. Next, the PCA will contact you directly and notify you that it will be managing your tax account. Like the IRS, the PCA must abide by your rights as a taxpayer.
The PCA will present different payment options and agreements to you, but any payment you make should be paid directly to the IRS and not to the PCA. Do not pay a PCA, write a check to a PCA, or pay any entity other than the IRS and the United States Treasury. The IRS will not call you and ask for a credit card number. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be an IRS agent asking for credit card details over the phone, do not give them any information as this is a scamming attempt.
Please note that the IRS or a PCA will not contact you by email, text message, or social media for debt collection. If the IRS or a PCA needs to collect a debt from you, you and your tax representative will receive a letter by mail.
This McNeelyLaw LLP publication should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion of any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation.