Collector - February 2020 - 24

* Statistics about the percentage of
consumers who expect to receive refunds
and use them to pay down debt.
* A list of tax preparation services that
offer instant payment solutions.
* A list of websites that provide expected
payment dates based on when tax returns
were filed.
"We teach the staff that IRS.gov is your
friend," Ruffino said. "The IRS has a wealth
of information and it's a government website,
so you don't have to worry about potentially
shady, third-party information. We often
direct consumers who have specific tax

Tax Refund
Estimators
Consumers can track the
status of their refunds
at www.irs.gov/refunds.
Several third-party
websites provide estimated
payment dates based
on when tax returns are
filed. This information
can help consumers set
expectations and give
collectors insight to help
them schedule follow-up
calls. They include:

24

*

Efile.com: www.efile.
com/estimate-yourfederal-tax-refund-date

*

The College Investor:
thecollegeinvestor.
com/840/when-toexpect-my-tax-refund

*

CPA Practice Advisor:
http://bit.ly/2OSJfaD

questions to IRS.gov. It's simple to remember
and is the best resource when tax information
is needed."
Making collection contests relevant to tax
season can help collectors stay motivated.
Agencies may reward collectors who collect
large, unscheduled payments or payment
in full from consumers with small monthly
payment plans, for example.
For agencies using speech analytics
software, tracking and rewarding those who
use specific tax-related terms may also keep
collectors focused on promoting tax refunds as
viable payment solutions.
As with any training, reinforcement
is essential.
"This is a long game," Ruffino said. "People
receive refunds from January through
mid-May. You can't have training in January
and then check back in April to see what
happened. You need to keep it fresh, keep
announcing successes and keep it in the
forefront for months, beating the drum over
and over. Otherwise collectors will forget."

TALKING TAXES
When speaking with consumers about
tax refunds, it's important for collectors
to keep conversations positive, focus on
finding solutions and avoid getting
too personal.
Collectors may put people who owe
money at ease by letting them know
that they speak with others in the same
situation all day, and that this time of
year is good for many consumers because
they can use tax refunds to take care of
outstanding bills. Framing the conversation
in this way gives them a sense of inclusion,
reduces embarrassment and provides a
possible solution.
"You want to give them ideas to help
make their debts go away," Ruffino said. "I'm
trying to help you get this off your plate.
Once you get the debt wiped out, you're
starting the year in a little bit better financial
shape. A lot of people use this option, and
it's a good way to start the new year."
Consumers don't know how much they
will receive in their refund, if anything,
until they actually complete their tax

returns. However, collectors can ask simple
questions to establish expectations:
* Did you file last year?
* How much did you get back?
* Has your employment changed in the
past year?
* Did your deductions stay the same?
If everything is like last year, there's a
good chance the refund amount will be
similar too. Let consumers know that if they
file right away, they will likely have their
money within a few weeks and can take care
of the debt quickly. Nine out of 10 refunds
are typically paid out within 21 days of
filing, according to the IRS.
Some tax preparation services offer
same-day payments via a debit card loaded
with the expected refund amount, giving
consumers an even faster method to pay
off debts. This can be especially useful
for consumers who may be able to avoid
negative marks on their credit report by
paying quickly.
"We have a 60-day grace period on our
end before credit reporting," Camp said.
"That's always been a big carrot to get
payment in full. The tax refund is a great
tool collectors and consumers can use as a
source to get it done."
Giving collectors a list of reputable
tax preparation services offering tax
return advances allows them to provide
consumers with options. It's best to avoid
recommending a specific company because
you don't want to be blamed if the consumer
has a bad experience. Focus instead on
providing options so consumers can choose
for themselves.
In addition to leveraging tax refunds for
new accounts, consider contacting consumers
who have been reliably making regular
payments on their own as well.
"If you have consumers who have been
paying a set amount monthly for a long time,
this is the time to follow up to see if there's
a chance to take care of it," Ruffino said.
"Give them a call, thank them for making
all their payments on time and ask whether
they're able to take care of the rest or pay
it down using tax refund money. If they
say no, you still have them on a payment

ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG


http://www.IRS.gov http://www.IRS.gov http://www.irs.gov/refunds http://www.efile.com/estimate-your-federal-tax-refund-date/ http://www.Efile.com http://www.efile.com/estimate-your-federal-tax-refund-date/ http://www.efile.com/estimate-your-federal-tax-refund-date/ https://www.thecollegeinvestor.com/840/when-to-expect-my-tax-refund/ https://www.thecollegeinvestor.com/840/when-to-expect-my-tax-refund/ https://www.thecollegeinvestor.com/840/when-to-expect-my-tax-refund/ http://www.bit.ly/2OSJfaD http://www.ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG

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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