The IRS Collection Division attempts to collect delinquent taxes as inexpensively and rapidly as possible. To accomplish this task the IRS makes extensive use of computers. Only when automated methods have failed to collect a tax is the matter assigned to an individual for collection.
Over the past several years as taxpayers have endured the Great Recession the IRS has escalated the number of federal tax liens filed against delinquent taxpayers. The IRS aggressive use of liens has been criticized by the National Taxpayer Advocate in her annual report to congress and the IRS Advisory Council in its annual report to the Commissioner. IRS recently announced a new, more flexible attitude in policies and programs to help taxpayers pay back taxes and avoid tax liens.