Aretha Franklin’s estate is in the middle of a fight between multiple heirs and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The fight brings to mind the old saying: “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” When these two certainties collide, those who are left behind can find themselves expected to navigate quite a mess.
A law passed in 2015 requires the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) outsource collection of certain tax debt to private debt collection (PDC) programs. This is not the first attempt at using third party businesses to collect on tax debt. In 2004, Congress granted the IRS to create a similar program. After three years, the IRS chose not to renew the program due to inefficiencies.
The estimated tax gap for fiscal 2017 – the difference between the amount owed and the amount collected – was $197 billion. For about two years the IRS has been contracting with private collection agencies in an attempt to narrow it.
A letter from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is rarely cause for celebration. Likely the only exception is when the agency sends a refund check. Other than that, a mailing from the IRS can cause stress. In some cases, the agency may simply be asking for more information, in others the letter could be notification of an impending audit.
Facing an audit from the IRS, simply put, can be terrifying. Whether the IRS notifies you of an upcoming audit of your personal finances or your business, you may worry what will come from an audit conducted by mail or worse, in person.
The IRS paid out a record amount last year in financial awards to tipsters who told the agency about others’ failure to pay taxes.