You can lose your passport if you owe back taxes?!

By | July 14, 2016

As of 12/4/15, a new law passed stating that if you have “seriously delinquent tax debt”, you could lose your passport! Crazy! Here’s some details about the law:

Under the bill, as modified by the conference agreement, the IRS must submit certifications of “seriously delinquent” taxpayers to the Secretary of the Treasury, who must then pass along these certifications to the Secretary of State. Once receiving certification that a person is a “seriously delinquent” taxpayer, the Secretary of State is REQUIRED to deny such person a passport if the person is to apply. The Secretary of State is also permitted to revoke a passport that has already been issued to a person that receives such certification.

The Secretary of State is also authorized to deny an application for a passport if a person fails to provide a Social Security Number or provides a Social Security Number that is incorrect or invalid if the error was willful, intentional, reckless, or negligent. The Secretary of State is authorized to make exceptions to these rules for emergency or humanitarian purposes, such as for issuing a short-term passport to allow a person outside the United States to return.

They consider someone who owes $50,000 or more to the IRS as a “seriously delinquent” taxpayer. Scary, that could have been me!! I had unfiled returns for 6 years, and the penalties and interest accrued so quickly I ended up owing $45,000! And trust me, I’m not rich. Thankfully the firm I hired got me an Offer in Compromise approved and I ended up only paying $3,000.

So far it appears that they haven’t come up with a plan to implement. As soon as I get updates on this law I’ll post them here.

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