Severely overdue customers may hear from someone new soon.

The Internal Revenue Service has awarded contracts to three private collection agencies for the collection of overdue tax debts. The new contracts begin on Thursday, September 23, when the old collection agency contracts expire.

The three agencies are:

  • CBE Group Inc., PO Box 2217, Waterloo, Iowa, 50704; (800) 910-5837;
  • Coast Professional Inc., PO Box 526, Albion, New York, 14411; (888) 928-0510; and,
  • ConServe, PO Box 307, Fairport, New York, 14450; (844) 853-4875.

The IRS stressed that it always notifies a taxpayer before transferring their account to a collection agency. As a first step, the service will send a letter to the taxpayer and his tax representative informing them that their account has been transferred to a collection agency and giving the name and contact details of the agency.

This mailing will include a copy of publication 4518, “What to Expect When the IRS Assigns Your Account to a Private Collection Agency.”

The agency will then send its own letter to the taxpayer and his representative confirming the account transfer. Collectors will identify themselves as contractors collecting taxes on behalf of the IRS.

Customers may need reminders that private companies cannot take enforcement action against taxpayers. Collection agencies can discuss payment options, including setting up payment agreements with taxpayers. All tax payments must go directly to the IRS.