Tax Talk

IRS Using Outside Collection Agencies

The IRS is now using outside collection agencies to collect unpaid tax obligations. This could create an opportunity for collection agency scams with thieves masquerading as IRS-endorsed suppliers. How do you know if a collection effort is real or a scam? Phone calls from an IRS-related collection agency will always be preceded by a written notice from the IRS. No written notice? Then it’s a scam. Before you ever respond to the IRS or provide any information to anyone claiming to be calling on behalf of the IRS, call us first.

IRS Tax Stats

What can we learn about the 2016 tax year from the latest IRS Data Book?

  • More than $3.3 trillion in gross taxes collected
  • More than 244 million tax returns processed
  • More than $426 billion in tax refunds issued
  • Over one million tax returns audited, down 16% from 1.2 million in 2015

Catching Up on Correspondence

Have you been waiting to hear back from the IRS? In 2014 and 2015, written correspondence to the IRS increased dramatically, slowing the agency’s response rate. In 2015, the IRS met its written response goal of 30 to 45 days only half the time. This failure is attributed to budget and staffing cuts. Last year the IRS received a $290 million increase in funding. Some of this money was used to help catch up on responding to backed up correspondence. The IRS says that as of February 2017, the number of letters was at 539,000, compared to 900,000 in 2014 and 859,000 in 2015. If you’re waiting for correspondence from the IRS, let us know. We can help.