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House Advances Effort to Renew Private Tax Debt Collection

Sharon Edmondson, Washington Legislative Team Member | November 06, 2015

Two provisions giving the government more power to compel individuals to pay delinquent tax debt are on their way to a conference committee, advanced as part of a transportation spending bill passed in the House 363-64.

The bill (HR 22) contains language that would require the Internal Revenue Service to hire private contractors to collect tax debt that the agency has given up on collecting itself, and another that would allow the State Department to revoke the passports of individuals owing more than $50,000 in seriously delinquent tax debt.

The bill’s approval in both chambers makes it more likely that the debt collection language will survive the conference committee process—where the House and Senate will resolve their differing versions of the transportation package-to become enacted law. The House announced its conferees, but the Senate has yet to give word on who will take part. No date for the conference has been set.

The provision regarding IRS hiring of private debt collectors has met with opposition in the past but the issue may get overshadowed in the broader work of passing a transportation bill. The passport revocation provision has more support with Senators Schumer (D-NY), Hatch (R-UT) and Wyden (D-OR).

View the bill here.

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