"The experiment has failed twice and there is nothing to lead
us to believe it will not fail again," the IRS Oversight Board
said in a letter to lawmakers on Tuesday.
Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation has estimated that
private debt collectors could raise $4.8 billion in new tax
revenue over 10 years.
That boost to government coffers could help offset the costs of
renewing dozens of temporary tax breaks, many of them for
corporations - a challenge now facing Congress.
Democratic Senator Charles Schumer recently introduced the
bipartisan private debt collection proposal, offering it as an
offset for the temporary tax breaks, known as the tax extenders.
But the joint committee's revenue estimate excludes
administrative costs and "is far too optimistic," said the IRS
Oversight Board, a nine-member panel appointed by the president.
The IRS has contracted with private debt collectors twice
before. From 2006 to 2009, the IRS had to spend its own funds to
run the program and ended up losing money, said the panel, which
emailed the letter to Reuters on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Patrick Temple-West; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh;
Editing by Tom Brown)
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