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Collections by private companies may supplement IRS efforts

Despite the fact that the government has unsuccessfully used private contractors in the past to try to collect tax revenues, there is currently a reported effort in Congress to revise that controversial practice. The National Treasury Employees Union is opposed to the effort. Perhaps ironically, the government stopped using private collectors in 2009 after a general consensus that IRS employees could do it better. The reinstatement of the practice could see a hodge podge of collection agencies appearing in Nevada and elsewhere to engage in tax collections.

The union of Treasury Department workers is engaging in the opposition to this proposal in a vigorous way. A spokesperson for the union pointed out recently that the private companies failed on "many levels" in the past. She pointed out that the Department has voluntarily chosen not to use these companies, despite still having remaining discretion to use them.

The supporters of the program asserted that it would reduce the deficit and at the same time add to the federal job numbers. A United States Senator suggested that by bringing in more revenue through cold-case working, the government could use the money to hire more IRS personnel. In the past, it's been popular to cut the IRS budget due to lack of public support generally for the agency's actions.

The outcome of the debate between IRS workers and government sources will play out in the months ahead. The impact in Nevada and elsewhere to actual taxpaying citizens will likely not be dramatic. However, it could cause some consternation to people throughout the country who, for one reason or another, ran into financial problems during the recession. Applying extra pressure to those individuals may not be a popular approach at this time.

Source: Fox News, "Union fights bipartisan effort to force IRS to hire private tax collectors", , April 15, 2014

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