The Internal Revenue Service has announced plans to hire contract firms to collect taxes, paying them a bounty of up to 25% of the money they recover. Deputy IRS Commissioner Rich Morgante said the project is scheduled to start by the end of 2005.
So, the revenuers are not going to be government agents anymore. They’ll be hired gunslingers out to collect a bounty on confiscated funds. I don’t see how they would be any different than any other of America’s bounty hunters who have been known to break down the wrong door.
Also, it’s common practice for collection agencies to torment people via the telephone. Therefore, it’s conceivable that call centers in India or Pakistan could be subcontracted to telephonically harass U.S. citizens who haven’t paid their taxes. For that matter, I don’t know why it wouldn’t be possible for the call centers to do outsourced skip tracing on debtors and tax delinquents. Maybe they already do. If phone sex and school tutoring can be outsourced, why not tax collection?
The whole idea of the IRS contracting out tax collection is smelly. Tax forms collect a tremendous amount of privileged information. Making it available to a common bill collector looking for a bounty is unnerving. Nonetheless, Morgante presumably thinks there is no reason to be apprehensive about the bounty hunters because:
“They are going to be held to the same standards as government employees.”
In my estimation, that doesn’t support his scheme.
Companion post at Interested-Participant.