FedSmith.com Users Overwhelmingly Reject Use of Private Tax Collectors

Should the IRS be using private tax collection firms? FedSmith.com users resoundingly said “no” in a recent survey.

In a recent poll, we asked our users what their thoughts were about the Internal Revenue Service using private tax collection firms. We presented the poll in light of news that Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) sponsored an amendment that would require the IRS to reinstate the use of the private tax collectors.

The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) came out strongly against the idea, saying that using private companies had been tried before and had failed.

Nearly 90% of respondents to our poll said the IRS should not be using private tax collection companies. Additionally, most respondents said that using private tax collectors would decrease the amount of taxes the government is able to collect. 47% said it would decrease the taxes collected, 35% said it would have no impact, and only 18% said it would increase taxes collected.

As to whether or not using private firms would help reduce the deficit, respondents were split evenly saying it would either increase the deficit or have no impact. Only 9% said it would reduce the deficit.

Lastly, 53% of respondents said that using private tax collectors would reduce the number of available jobs within the IRS. 39% said it would have no impact on jobs, and only 8% said it would increase jobs.

Our users had a lot to say about the issue. This is a sampling of some of the comments on the issue:

User HarleyGirl795 said, “This could go bad on so many levels! As someone below stated, it is inherently governmental work. Aside from that, this could lend itself to serious abuse of the taxpayers’ personal information. What if they owed other debts besides taxes? Where would the checks and balances be to prevent these companies from unscrupulous actions? Does the taxpayers’ privacy mean nothing anymore?”

User Mentallect said, “Privatizing collection functions mean giving govt money to private sector companies unnecessarily.”

User Keith said, “Sounds like the union is trying to pad the numbers of people it employs. As for the mission, whether the employee collects a paycheck directly from Uncle Sam or not is not really a big deal. In the end, it is about getting the job done. Also, the perk of contractors is it is easier to get rid of them. Federal employees on the other hand, just sit there and gather dust when their usefulness (if they had it) wears off.”

User Fed_Peasant said, “Obviously contributions (bribes) are being paid by companies in that collections business, or their proxies (K Street lobbyists). These businesses have a reputation of being predatory & violating rights.”

Thanks to all of our users who took the time to share their feedback.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.