Don’t Sic Private Debt Collectors on Taxpayers

income tax

Target: Senate Democratic Minority Leader Harry Reid

Goal: Don’t assign federal tax collection to private debt collection agencies.

Private debt collection companies have a long, notorious history of harassment and intimidation. When many people think of debt collectors, they think of “loan sharks” who will do almost anything to get the money they came for. Despite this reputation, Republicans in Congress want to put these shady characters in charge of overdue income tax collection instead of IRS employees.

When a legislative measure is slipped into a completely unrelated bill, it’s a sure sign the measure is controversial or ill-advised. That’s why House Republicans slipped this outrageous tax provision into a federal highway bill and passed it onto the Senate for approval. Despite their efforts to evade attention, however, Democrats have caught wind of the extra provision and are lining up to oppose it.

America’s problem with tax collection does not lie with individuals who have fallen behind on their income tax, but with large corporations who dodge paying their share at every opportunity. These companies use offshore accounts and tax law loopholes to scam the federal government out of billions of dollars each year. Despite the high caliber of this problem, Republicans would rather scare struggling Americans into compliance to collect a meager sum of money by comparison.

In fact, the past has proven that private tax collection actually results in the government losing money. The first and second times the government experimented with private tax collection, it resulted in a net loss of $17 and $4.5 million dollars, respectively. Do we really need a third chance to prove this method does not work? Urge Senate Democrats not to let the highway bill continue with this provision.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Senate Minority Leader Reid,

House Republicans are targeting struggling Americans once again with outrageous and deceitful legislation. A provision that would authorize private debt collectors to handle overdue federal taxes has been slipped into a highway bill and sent to the Senate for approval. Private debt collection agencies are known to be ruthless in their means, often employing harassment and intimidation tactics to get every last cent out of their victims. This is not how the U.S. government should be handling business.

Private tax collection has been tried twice before, both instances resulting in millions of dollars in net losses for the federal government. Republican legislators seem to have forgotten this important detail when they added the provision. Furthermore, the real offender when it comes to federal income tax are the huge corporations who use offshore accounts and loopholes to avoid paying, not struggling citizens.

This provision will benefit no one but the private agencies that would receive federal funding to harass and endanger taxpayers. Please do not allow the private information of American citizens to be placed in the hands of shady debt collection companies and ensure this provision is stripped from the highway bill.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: 401kcalculator.org

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