Report on IRS Private Debt Collection Program Gives Good Reviews to Agencies, Criticized IRS Management of Program

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) issued a report on September 5, 2018, regarding the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) most recent attempt at its private debt collection (PDC) program. The report did a thorough review of the current PDC program, finding that the Private Collection Agencies (PCA) performed well despite setbacks caused by the IRS’s management and oversight of the program.

On two prior occasions, the IRS attempted to implement PDC programs. Both times, the programs resulted in a financial net loss to the government according to the report. The 1996 pilot program resulted in a $17 million net loss and was cancelled after 12 months. The 2006 initiative resulted in a $20.9 million net loss.

In the most recent PDC program, the IRS awarded contracts to CBE Group, ConServe, Performant, and Pioneer (collectively, the PCAs). Of note, the report states that PCAs performed well in both quality and customer satisfaction. Combined initial quality scores of all PCAs were:

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