You would think that Congress would have learned the last time? In just its first few months of existence, the Private Tax Collection program looks like its already hitting bumps: Outside Collectors Accused of Illegal Practices (New York Times).
If contacted by these folks, it might be just bet to ignore them: Ignore Private Tax Collectors?
I guess on some libertarian planet that doesn't exist you could farm out all government activity to the private sector, but somehow here on Earth there are areas where that just doesn't work. Based on recent data, the IRS has a $4 return on investment for every $1 invested into it: IRS Funding Cuts Weaken Enforcement. Private tax collectors aren't beating those numbers and they didn't last go-around. And if these folks are doing illegal stuff too - what's the point in contracting work out to them? In our opinion, we'd rather have the IRS just do its job. Since their chastening back in the '90's, we haven't seen much abuse or illegal practices from them (although conservative non-profit applicants might beg to differ). For the most part in recent years, the IRS gives us a pretty "fair" hearing. Our job is to "advocate" and mitigate what our client's owe using all of our tricks of our trade.
UPDATE January 2018 : Looks like the latest Private Tax Collection is a massive money loser while hurting poor people to boot: $21 million cost, $6 million revenues: terrible return on investment.
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