5 Tools to Maximize Debt Collection Revenue During the 2020 Tax Refund Season

Written by Michael Wise
The IRS started accepting income tax returns on January 27, 2020. For the taxpayers who filed their returns at the end of January, tax refunds could start hitting their bank accounts shortly after Valentines Day.

Although last year’s average refund of $2,869 was down 1.4% compared to the previous year, it’s still a sizable sum that provides many families a much-needed boost heading into summer.

It’s also a time to pay down credit card balances and settle past due balances.

With many creditors and debt collection agencies competing with summer vacation plans and the newest iPhone for this sudden influx of cash, timing is everything.

But to truly take advantage of this short tax season collection window, you’ll need to have your strategy in place.

Increasing call volume and mailings isn’t a strategy—you need the tools and technology that allow you to work smarter, not harder
Maximizing collection revenue during tax season is more about increasing the quality of your outreach efforts rather than quantity. You can add staff and extend your hours of operation, but real measurable results come when you work smarter, not harder. That’s where data analysis and technology come into play.

Here’s 5 tools that act like “people multipliers” and every agency should have at their disposal


A true predictive dialer uses algorithms based on actual real-time calling data to call more numbers than there are agents available to keep the whole call center busy with live right party contacts. Any ATDS system can dial more numbers than agents available, but a predictive dialer looks at all of the key dialing statistics (hold times, wrap times, calls in queue, etc) to avoid dropped calls (consumers hanging up) and minimize the time agents spend waiting for a call to be delivered.


Answering Machine Detection is a critical part of any outbound calling campaign where an agent will not leave a message. Calls mistakenly connected to a consumer voicemail or answering machine waste between 6-10 seconds per agent per call. The difference between an AMD with an accuracy of 90% compared to 70% could mean 4 or 5 calls per agent per day. An accurate and frequently tested and fine-tuned AMD also reduces minutes usage across the contact center.


Account Scoring is the constantly evolving process of assigning a score to each account so calling lists can be prioritized and segmented for maximum efficiency. Through machine learning, or artificial intelligence, different dynamic scoring models can be created and improved based on the specific activity of a business.
Attunely, architect of one of the most advanced dynamic machine learning platforms on the market, has used business-to-customer interactions to develop these innovative models.

Propensity-To-Pay Model—predicts whether payment is likely from a delinquent consumer.

Liquidation Model—analyzes historical data to inform the expected value of accounts.

Omnichannel Model—Identifies the highest-yielding form of communication.

Time-Of-Day Model—matches each consumer with a preferred time to be called.

See all of Atunely’s Dynamic Scoring Models here.

Every collection agency increases phone calls and mailings (on average 25%) during tax season. That’s standard operating procedure—it’s not a strategy. A strategy is optimizing this increase in activity to take full advantage of the tax season window.
Make Self-Service Your Preferred Payment Channel — You aren’t the only company vying for a debtor’s disposable income! Make paying you as frictionless as possible, beginning with a mobile-first online payment site and 24/7 access to automated phone payments through a payment IVR. 
With over half of consumers now making more online payments and purchases from their smartphone than computer, do you really want to force them to pinch, pull, and squint their way through the payment page you got with your merchant account or collection software? You shouldn’t, because every other industry is there with open arms and responsive websites.

Virtual Negotiation the is a logic tool built into your online payment portal that allows debtors to negotiate their own payment plan arrangements or explore your discounted settlement options for themselves. Although their will always be some people who enjoy the art of the haggle, the vast majority try to avoid negotiations whenever possible. Let the machine do all of the heavy lifting (according to your business rules) and send the haggle lovers to your most seasoned agents.

Ready to collect your money?

Whether you’re looking to improve one area of your debt collection department or the whole enchilada, we can help!


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