IRS SELECTS FIRMS FOR COLLECTION EFFORT: The Internal Revenue Service awarded contracts to a trio of firms to participate in the first phase of its private debt collection initiative. A total of 33 firms took part in the bidding process.The selected firms are The CBE Group Inc., of Waterloo, Iowa; Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson LLP, of Austin, Texas; and Pioneer Credit Recovery Inc., of Arcade, N.Y.

To assist the agency in collecting back taxes, the 2004 American Jobs Creation Act authorized the IRS to hire private firms to collect federal tax debts. The law included a number of limitations to ensure that the private firms will be subject to the same taxpayer protection and privacy rules that agency employees work under. The IRS expects to assign uncollected liabilities to the firms beginning this summer.

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