IRS warning against tax scams

New this year, the Internal Revenue Service is working with private debt collection agencies to collect taxes, and the agency is warning against scammers who might attempt to capitalize on unpaid tax debt.

The agency is using four private collection agencies — CBE Group of Cedar Falls, Iowa; Conserve of Fairport, N.Y.; Performant of Livermore, Calif.; and Pioneer of Horseheads, N.Y.

Taxpayers with overdue tax debt will be mailed a letter from the IRS saying the overdue account is being turned over to one of the four collection agencies. The letter will provide the name of the company and contact information.

The private debt collector will then send the taxpayer a letter confirming the account transfer before contacting the taxpayer by phone.

Tax officials said the collection agencies will not ask for payment on a prepaid debit card. Payment by check should be payable to the United States Treasury and sent directly to IRS, not the collection agency. Electronic payment is available at

If you do not have federal tax debt, then you will not get a call from IRS or a private debt collector demanding payment.

If you are unsure if you owe federal taxes, look up your account at


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