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Authorized by Congress under Section 32102 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), the IRS is required to use private collection agencies to collect certain outstanding, inactive tax debts that have resulted from an IRS tax audit.

Taxpayers who are having their accounts transferred will receive two separate pieces of mail correspondence. The first will be a letter from an agent working on your IRS tax audit explicitly stating that the taxpayer’s account will be transferred to one of the private collection agencies. The second will be a letter from the private collection agency confirming the transfer.

The Private Collection Agencies that are being contracted by the IRS are:

1. Pioneer, based out of the Southern Tier of New York

2. ConServe, based out of the Rochester area of New York

3. Performant, based out of the San Francisco Bay area of California

4. CBE, based out of Waterloo, Iowa

(In case you’re wondering, the CBE does not stand for anything).

These four private collection agencies will only be given cases that the IRS is no longer actively working on; for example, that have resulted from a past tax audit. These will mainly include older, overdue tax accounts that the IRS simply does not have the resources to spend any more time on.

These private collection agencies must abide by the consumer protection provisions laid out in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and should be courteous and respectful towards taxpayers.

To report a complaint about a private collection agency or misconduct by one of their employees, call the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) hotline at 800-366-4484 or visit

Copyright 2017 Tax Strategies, Inc. Robert Greene CPA CMA

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