Ways and Means Leaders Urge IRS to End Private Debt Collection Service
Text of the letter sent to President-elect Obama is and pasted below and a signed copy is attached:
President-Elect Barack Obama
The Office of the 2008 Presidential Transition
Washington, D.C. 20270
Dear President-Elect Obama:
Congratulations on your recent victory. We are writing concerning the Internal Revenue Service’s (“IRS”) use of private collection agencies to collect unpaid Federal tax liabilities. Presently, the IRS has contracts with two companies for the collection of unpaid Federal income taxes. We understand that the IRS is in the process of determining whether to exercise its option to extend these contracts for a one-year period, which would run from March 8, 2009, to March 7, 2010.
In the 110th Congress, the House passed three bills that would repeal the authority of the IRS to use private collection agencies. The collection of Federal taxes is an inherent government function. Former IRS officials have testified that the IRS can collect Federal taxes cheaper and more efficiently than the private collection agencies.
We respectfully request that your Administration not proceed with renewing the existing contracts or expanding the program. In light of the current economic situation, it is important that the Administration protect taxpayers by ensuring that they deal with the IRS directly to work through any difficulties.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. We look forward to working with you and your Administration during the upcoming Congress.
Charles B. Rangel John Lewis, Chairman
Chairman Subcommittee on Oversight
Pete Stark Sander M. Levin
Jim McDermott Richard E. Neal
Earl Pomeroy Earl Blumenauer
Shelley Berkley Joseph Crowley
Chris Van Hollen Kendrick Meek
Allyson Y. Schwartz Bill Pascrell
cc: Peter R. Orszag
Director-designee, Office of Management and Budget
Timothy F. Geithner
Secretary-designee, Department of Treasury
Douglas R. Shulman
Commissioner, Internal Revenue Service