The Private Debt Collection Program

With concerns rising about our nation’s deficit and the ability to fully fund existing federal programs, it’s more important than ever that the federal government collect legitimately owed taxes to sustain the important programs our government provides on behalf of the American people.

While most taxpayers file and pay their taxes on time, some still have outstandingbalances owed to the Treasury of the United States. The IRS estimates that the difference between the total amount of taxes owed and taxes paid, known as the tax gap, currently exceeds $400 billion.

In December 2015, Congress mandated the creation of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Private Debt Collection (PDC) Program within Section 32102 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act. The program provides the IRS with much-needed manpower resources to assist with the collection of a subset of outstanding tax underpayments – specifically those where a tax return was filed but additional taxes are due.  Four high-quality firms were selected to partner with the IRS for this effort: CBE Group, ConServe, Performant Recovery, and Pioneer Credit Recovery.

With billions in federal taxes uncollected each year, the government’s partnership with private recovery companies returns vital funding to the U.S. Treasury and helps Americans achieve a zero balance with the IRS through collaborative solutions that allow voluntary compliance to fulfill individual tax obligations.

Without this program and the resources it provides, the IRS does not have the staff capacity to conduct outreach and collect these underpayments, which in 2016 totaled more than $131 billion. Federal tax debts are subject to a 10-year statute of limitations and, at current IRS resource levels, would simply languish on the books until the 10-year timeframe expires.