Blue Flower

Uncle Sam needs some help collecting unpaid taxes, so the Internal Revenue Service will now use private companies to tackle this growing backlog of debt.

The IRS announced earlier this month that it's hired four debt collection agencies to round up outstanding payments from taxpayers who've been contacted numerous times and still haven't paid.

The new private debt collection program is starting off slowly: At first, just a few hundred taxpayers a week will receive mailings and subsequent phone calls. That will grow to thousands of people a week later in the spring and summer.