A New Travel Ban: The IRS May Soon Begin Revoking Passports of U.S. Citizens


A New Travel Ban: The IRS May Soon Begin Revoking Passports of U.S. Citizens

There’s been a great deal written lately about Donald Trump’s travel ban from seven countries, but there has been a lot less written about new actions the IRS will start taking this year, which was signed into law by President Obama in 2015.  That’s right, the IRS is going to begin communicating with the State Department for American citizens who are severely delinquent on their tax debts ($50k plus).  The information was released recently on the IRS website, where it details who could possibly have their U.S. passport revoked or denied.

Basically, the way it works is that if you are seriously delinquent on your taxes to the IRS, they will send a certification to the State Department, at which point the State Department will move forward in revoking your passport or preventing you from getting a passport.

Here’s who could be impacted:

Seriously delinquent tax debt is an individual’s unpaid, legally enforceable federal tax debt totaling more than $50,000* (including interest and penalties) for which a:

  • Notice of federal tax lien has been filed and all administrative remedies under IRC § 6320 have lapsed or been exhausted or
  • Levy has been issued

Here’s who is not considered seriously delinquent:

  • Being paid in a timely manner under  an installment agreement entered into with the IRS
  • Being paid in a timely manner under an offer in compromise accepted by the IRS or a settlement agreement entered into with the Justice Department
  • For which a collection due process hearing is timely requested in connection with a levy to collect the debt
  • For which collection has been suspended because a request for innocent spouse relief under IRC § 6015 has been made

Also, before the State Department actually revokes the passport, the individual will have 90 days to demonstrate to the State Department that (1) erroneous certification from the IRS; (2) making a full payment to the IRS; and (3) enter into a payment plan with the IRS.

BOTTOM LINE: If you owe the IRS money and you love to travel, you might want to make sure you arrange something with the IRS to pay back that debt.

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