January 18, 1995
IRS Changes Procedures &
Adds Staff to Collect Tax Owed
WASHINGTON - Internal Revenue Service is streamlining its
collection notice procedure by making personal telephone contact
with taxpayers as early as possible when a tax account becomes
Under the new procedure, the IRS will send delinquent taxpayers
fewer collection notices over a shorter period of time before
attempting to telephone taxpayers to resolve collection issues. The
IRS is also adding over 700 employees to work delinquent tax cases.
(Currently, 2,400 staff years are used in telephone contact work.)
The IRS says that the streamlining will reduce taxpayer burden
and that the procedural changes and additional staff will speed up
and increase collection of taxes owed.
Now the IRS will call individual taxpayers who have not
responded after receiving 3 tax bills issued over 8 16-week period.
In the past, the IRS called taxpayers after sending 5 bills over a
26-week period. Business taxpayers in arrears will be contacted by
phone after receiving 2 bills over 11 weeks. In the past, the IRS
sent 3 bills to businesses over a 15-week period before calling.
In tests the IRS conducted during 1994 on accelerating the
billing process and increasing the use of telephone contact,
collections of taxes owed increased for both individuals and
businesses. In follow-up taxpayer surveys, over 70% of those
surveyed said the telephone calls were effective in clarifying
unresolved collection issues.
Once a collection case moves to the telephone contact stage, IRS
representatives will make calls in the daytime, evening, and
Saturdays over a 3-week period. If telephone contact can't be made
or the case remains unresolved, the IRS will take the appropriate
actions -- issue tax liens, levy financial sources, and refer cases
to field revenue officers.
Taxpayers unable to pay outstanding income tax debts may still
be able to enter into agreements to pay off the debt in monthly
In fiscal year 1994, the IRS collected $8.1 billion from bills
sent to taxpayers and another $1.98 billion from telephone contacts.
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