Collector - February 2020 - 23

Taking on
Tax Time

Strategies to help you help
consumers pay down debt.
By Tim Dressen

T

ax refund season has begun, giving
many consumers an opportunity to
make significant progress toward
paying off past-due bills.
Last year, the average federal tax refund
was $2,725, according to the Internal Revenue
Service. While some people may be tempted to
use that influx of cash to take a vacation or buy
a new smartphone, many will dedicate at least
some of the funds to reducing debt.
Approaching tax season during each of the
past four years, nearly two-thirds of consumers
expected to receive refunds, and 34%-35% of
them intended to pay down debt with some
or all of the money, according to the National
Retail Federation.
"People start the year wanting to get out of
debt, so they're refinancing and trying to get
things cleaned up," said Michelle Camp, chief
operating officer for Express Recovery Services
Inc. "Tax refunds come in during that time
period, making it helpful to achieve that goal."
The expectation of receiving a financial
boost and intentions of reducing debt provide
an ideal environment for collectors.

COLLECTOR 02.20

COLLECTOR TOOLS
Keeping the opportunity to leverage tax
refunds at the forefront of collectors'
minds is essential to getting the most out
of tax season. Training, resources and
reinforcement give collectors the proper
tools and mindset to maximize results.
"Each year after the dust from the holiday
season settles, we have a brief-no more than
30-minute-face-to-face training session for
all collection staff about tax season," said Greg
Ruffino, director of training for Williams &
Fudge. "We also post annually updated content
on our intranet that provides really basic taxrelated information, pointers and tips."
Ruffino cautions against expecting collectors
to become tax experts, but rather recommends
giving them tax-related information to
motivate them and help them collect. An
agency's tax-time staff fact sheet may include:
* The dates when consumers can begin
filing and the IRS is expected to begin
issuing payments.
* The income threshold for free electronic
filing at IRS.gov.

23


http://www.IRS.gov

Collector - February 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector - February 2020

Presidents Page
Industry News
Best Practices
FYI
Collection Tips
Overlapping Responsibilities?
Taking on Tax Time
Making Connections in D.C.
Calendar
Honor Roll
Education Spotlight
Creative Solutions
Ask the Experts: Reaching Out
Legal Liability & the FDCPA
Advocacy and Parenthood: Not So Different
Your Opinion Matters
Beyond the Boundary of the Law
ACA SearchPoint
Membership
Ad Index
Last Word
Collector - February 2020 - Cover1
Collector - February 2020 - Cover2
Collector - February 2020 - 1
Collector - February 2020 - 2
Collector - February 2020 - 3
Collector - February 2020 - 4
Collector - February 2020 - Presidents Page
Collector - February 2020 - Industry News
Collector - February 2020 - 7
Collector - February 2020 - 8
Collector - February 2020 - 9
Collector - February 2020 - 10
Collector - February 2020 - 11
Collector - February 2020 - Best Practices
Collector - February 2020 - 13
Collector - February 2020 - FYI
Collector - February 2020 - 15
Collector - February 2020 - Collection Tips
Collector - February 2020 - 17
Collector - February 2020 - Overlapping Responsibilities?
Collector - February 2020 - 19
Collector - February 2020 - 20
Collector - February 2020 - 21
Collector - February 2020 - Taking on Tax Time
Collector - February 2020 - 23
Collector - February 2020 - 24
Collector - February 2020 - 25
Collector - February 2020 - Making Connections in D.C.
Collector - February 2020 - 27
Collector - February 2020 - 28
Collector - February 2020 - 29
Collector - February 2020 - 30
Collector - February 2020 - 31
Collector - February 2020 - Calendar
Collector - February 2020 - Honor Roll
Collector - February 2020 - Education Spotlight
Collector - February 2020 - 35
Collector - February 2020 - Creative Solutions
Collector - February 2020 - 37
Collector - February 2020 - Ask the Experts: Reaching Out
Collector - February 2020 - 39
Collector - February 2020 - Legal Liability & the FDCPA
Collector - February 2020 - 41
Collector - February 2020 - Advocacy and Parenthood: Not So Different
Collector - February 2020 - 43
Collector - February 2020 - Your Opinion Matters
Collector - February 2020 - 45
Collector - February 2020 - Beyond the Boundary of the Law
Collector - February 2020 - 47
Collector - February 2020 - ACA SearchPoint
Collector - February 2020 - 49
Collector - February 2020 - Membership
Collector - February 2020 - Ad Index
Collector - February 2020 - Last Word
Collector - February 2020 - Cover3
Collector - February 2020 - Cover4
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