August 18, 2019 - Douglas Myser

Owe taxes you may lose your passport. If you owe the IRS more than $52,000 in overdue taxes, you may not be able to get a new passport or renew your existing one--or it might be revoked, whether you're home or abroad. The IRS has notified more than 400,000 taxpayers that their passports are at risk since the program began. The IRS is finally ready to make good on threats to strip U.S. passports from Americans who owe more than $52,000 in overdue taxes. The tax collector and the State Department are escalating enforcement of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act. This law enables them to deny passport applications or revoke existing passports due to outstanding debts. Owe taxes you might lose your passport. Owe taxes you may lose your passport.

The enforcement effort, which began in February 2018 for debts of $51,000 and higher, has thus far covered applications for new or renewed passports. The higher threshold of $52,000 for 2019 reflects an annual adjustment for inflation, although the IRS could not confirm. Now the IRS will actively begin referring unresolved cases to the State Department for potential revocation, IRS spokes woman Cecelia Barreda said. The State Department denies passport applications or revokes existing passports based on the information it receives from the IRS. The $52,000 must qualify as legally enforceable federal tax debt, including interest and penalties, according to the IRS. The agency issued a press release earlier this week reminding delinquent taxpayers of the law's provisions.

"Our goal was to remind people that this program has been in operation but additionally that it is our intention to begin referring cases to the U.S. Department of State for passport revocation. The government agency has notified more than 400,000 taxpayers that their passports are at risk since the program began. As a result of these notices, the IRS has received $11.5 million as of the end of June 2018 from 220 individuals. About 1,400 more people had entered into payment arrangements as of that date, according to a July 13, 2018 report. More recent figures were not available form the IRS.

   If you have a job that requires a passport and it is or is going to be revoked due to a past tax debt, call this 35 year old Tax Resolution firm for Tax Relief options in the IRS Revenue Code. We are a Nationwide Tax Resolution Services firm and can help you determine if you qualify for the IRS Fresh Start Program or any tax options that are outside of that program.