IRS and Private Tax Collection

 |  Income tax, IRS, Taxes

The law requires the IRS to use private agencies to collect certain outstanding inactive tax debts. You will receive two letters before you are contacted by a private collection agency (PCA):

  • Notice CP40 and Publication 4518 to let you know that your overdue tax account was assigned to a private collection contractor.
  • An initial contact letter from the PCA with information on how to resolve your overdue taxes.

Tax CollectionBoth letters will contain a Taxpayer Authentication Number to confirm your identity and verify that the agency is legitimate. No agency representing the IRS will call, email, or text you to make first contact.
If your tax debt has been transferred to a private collection contractor, you will be contacted by one of these four PCAs on the government’s behalf:

  • CBE of Waterloo, Iowa.
  • ConServe of Fairport, New York.
  • Performant of Pleasanton, California.
  • Pioneer of Horseheads, New York.

Once you receive a notice, verify that the agent is one of the PCAs listed above. The agent will ask you a series of questions to make sure they are talking to the correct person. You will be asked to repeat portions of your Taxpayer Authentication Number.
You can expect professionalism and respect of your taxpayer rights as the PCA works with you to resolve your overdue taxes. The IRS expects its representatives to collect back taxes without threatening citizens. However, you can report inappropriate behavior by contacting:
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration or TIGTA Hotline Complaints Unit:
By phone, toll-free: 1-800-366-4484
By fax: 202-927-7018
By mail:
Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration Complaints Unit Hotline
P.O. Box 589
Ben Franklin Station
Washington, DC 20044-0589
The TIGTA provides independent oversight of IRS activities.

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