IRS paid private debt collectors $20 million to recoup $6.7 million from low-income Americans


The state works for itself first. That is, for the people in the state and those who partner with the state. The People are secondary concerns (well the government is concerned, but not how many think) at best. The government is just a massive corporation that cares little for you if at all. That is the nature of government. Always has been. Likely always will be. There’s no way to make government “good.” One can’t populate it full of “good” people and expect it to be “good.” The best we can hope for is small and unencumbering.

(From Think Progress)

The report, by the independent Taxpayer Advocate Service, found that the debt collectors had cost the IRS $20 million but had only brought in $6.7 million — less than one percent of the total amount targeted for collection. In some cases, the private agencies received commissions for work they hadn’t actually carried out.

But perhaps more damning was the Americans that the debt collection firms targeted. Congress directed the beleaguered IRS to use private contractors in 2015 in an attempt to make some headway into the $450 billion of unpaid taxesowed to the federal government. The contractors, however, were expected to adhere to the IRS rule that is supposed to ensure that taxpayers “have adequate means to provide for basic expenses.” But as USA Today reports, of the 4,141 taxpayers assigned to the private contractors, 19 percent had a medium income below the federal poverty level and an additional 25 percent had income below 250 percent of the federal poverty level — a common indicator of low income.

The report concluded that the use of private debt collectors was one of the agency’s “most serious problems.”

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