The Internal Revenue Service Oversight Board met in early May to discuss the status of the IRS Private Debt Collection Program, as well as the budget for the IRS’s 2009 fiscal year.

Since last December, the board said that the IRS has turned over 33,824 cases to private collection agencies, with unpaid taxes totaling $218 million. As of last month, the participating contractors had collected $19.47 million in gross revenue. Of that amount, $15.57 million was collected as revenue sent to the Treasury, while the majority of the remaining sum will be paid to the contractors.

The IRS reported that of the cases placed with the private agencies, only 25 taxpayers who were contacted filed complaints with the IRS. And of those 25 complaints, only one was considered valid by the IRS.

At the meeting, the board also continued its work on the 2009 budget proposal for the IRS, which is still in its early developmental stage. The board prepared a special report, calling for an $11.4 billion budget for the agency -- an increase of $310 million more than the president requested and $808 million over the 2007 fiscal year joint resolution amount.

The board’s highest priority items called for increased funding for tax gap research, business systems modernization initiatives, upgrades in information technology infrastructure, computer security enhancements and taxpayer service programs. The president’s budget requested full funding for a handful of the initiatives; partial funding of the systems modernization and no funding for operating systems for newly deployed modernized information technology systems.

The IRS Oversight Board FY2008 IRS Budget Recommendation Special Report, is available on the board’s Web site, www.irsoversightboard.treas.gov.

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