Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The IRS and Fraudulent Debt Collectors

A new FairTax blogburst posted at Third World County reminded me of an idea that crossed my mind when I read the Washington Post story on the new IRS plan to use third-party debt collectors, and its subsequent warning to taxpayers "not to be duped by scammers posing as private debt collectors the agency has hired to chase unpaid tax debts."

One of the safeguards that the IRS has helpfully implemented is a toll-free number:

The selected taxpayers will get letters from the IRS that will name the company handling their debts. That letter will include information advising taxpayers of their rights.

It will be followed by another letter from the collection agencies telling the taxpayers they will soon be contacted for payment and specifying the amount owed.

The selected taxpayers can then expect a phone call or an additional letter from the collection agency requesting payment. Bennett cautioned that debt repayment is sent to the IRS, not a private company.

Taxpayers uncertain about the process or wanting to verify the letters are legitimate can call the IRS at 800-829-1040.

Here's a good way to put a stop to all of this nonsense at once. If enough of us fraudulently call this number and inquire whether a nonexistent letter were issued by the IRS or one of its contractors, or with painfully obtuse questions about the process, their whole system will fall apart. And it won't cost us a cent. Just a few minutes of our time.

Subversives of the world, here's your new hobby for the next few weeks. Be creative. Be polite. Call the number, and tie up the phone for as long as you can.



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