JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- When you don't pay your bills, creditors will usually report that to the credit bureaus. But there's one required payment that can go unpaid and not impact your credit.
We're talking about your taxes. Currently, because of privacy laws, theIRS does not report unpaid taxes to credit agencies. But a study could change that.
In 2011, Americans didn't pay an estimated $373 billion in federal taxes.
"That's pretty incredible. I mean we talk about all this money we have to save with the government, and why do we save money if we aren't getting money from taxpayers," taxpayer Jonathon Cole said.
That staggering amount of debt prompted the U.S. Government Accountability Office to conduct a study to consider a proposal to report tax debts to credit bureaus.
"Yeah, because a lot of the guys who are really rich aren't paying them," said taxpayer Barbara Pearson.
The study found that reporting unpaid taxes could increase the chance of the IRS recovering unpaid money. The negative, it could cause some people to stop filing taxes so there is no record of non-payment to report.
"If people are going to break the rules in that way, I think we should go after them even harder," Cole said.
Currently, the IRS is prohibited to share non-payment information, because of strict privacy laws to protect our information. The GAO does not make any recommendations in the report, just showing the positives and negatives.
Congress would have to take up the issue to create any change. If they move forward, expect to see more studies on how the government would still try and protect your privacy while trying to collect their money.