Tax Delinquents in US Beware – Your Passports Could be Revoked

Are you looking to get a new passport in US or do you need to renew your passport for upcoming international travel plans? Well, if you are a delinquent tax payer in US, you will neither be able to get a new passport nor be able to renew it. Infact travel bans can also be implemented to people who have not cleared their taxes.

This concept of not issuing or renewing passport to tax delinquents was there in the country from quite a long time. In H.R 22, The Congress provided power to IRS (US Internal Revenue Service) for collecting pending taxes. The tax code was labeled as ‘Revocation or Denial of Passport in Case of Certain Tax Delinquencies’. In 2012, this was proposed and rejected. But things changed and in late 2015, the bill was passed by The Congress and the then President Obama signed it.

In the present scenario, if you have large amounts of tax debt, the IRS will provide this information to the State Department. And once the information is received by the State Department, it will not issue a new passport or even get the old one renewed. The process of certifying tax debt has not yet stated by the IRS and is expected to begin by 1 st quarter of 2017. Keeping a check on the IRS website will help in getting the right information in this regard.

Who is considered as a serious delinquent tax debtor in US?

If US law is considered, a seriously delinquent tax debt is described as “unpaid, legally enforceable federal tax liability”, the amount of which is more than $50,000, which is inclusive of penalties and interests. The limit of $50,000 is not fixed; it will be adjusted in every year keeping in mind the cost of living and the inflation rates.

When a person is found to be seriously delinquent under this new law, the IRS will notify the person in writing at the time when it certifies the unpaid tax to the State Department. The State Department on getting the notification will hold the application for fresh passport or passport renewal for 90 days. This time is provided for resolving any kinds of errors by making full tax payments or by entering into a satisfactory and valid payment plan.

Once the taxes are paid or a payment plan is in action, the IRS will send a reversal of certification to the State Department that the tax payer is no longer delinquent and that is he eligible for getting a new passport or renew old passport.

Instead of getting into so much trouble and being sandwiched between the State Department and the IRS, it is better to make timely tax payments and remain hassle free from all aspects.