DIDN’T THE ROMANS TRY OUT THE IDEA OF GIVING TAX COLLECTORS A CUT OF WHAT THEY COLLECTED? I DON’T THINK IT WORKED OUT VERY WELL
Apparently, some lawmakers in Washington DC think giving private debt collectors a crack at collecting back federal taxes in exchange for a cut of their collections will improve on the IRS’ collection rate. I am skeptical of that proposition. Apparently the IRS has tried it before, with not-so-good results. For one thing, it sounds like a way to cut costs, but anyone who has been an outside contractor for a large organization (or who has worked in a large organization that hires outside contractors) for this type of thing (such as, outside attorneys for a large company) will tell you that the large organization will probably expend a lot of resources supervising the performance of the outside contractor. In an organization as large as the IRS, I have no doubt that they will set up a whole department to work with the outside collectors. That’s a whole department of IRS employees who get paid even if the collectors produce nothing. So while the collectors don’t cost anything if they don’t produce, that doesn’t mean that the whole scheme is without cost to the IRS.
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