*Originally Posted May 19, 2017*
By: Nick Richards & Keith Buckley
Have you been saving up for that dream vacation but putting off paying your tax bill? World travelers your procrastination may now result in your travel plans being grounded. On December 4, 2015, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, or “FAST Act”, became law. On its face one may wonder how a transportation act is related to passports and federal taxes. But buried deep inside the act, a provision was included to allow the IRS to communicate with the State Department (who issues passports) about seriously delinquent taxpayers. The State Department may use this information to revoke or deny a passport.
Luckily, the new law only applies to seriously delinquent taxpayers. These are taxpayers whose legally enforceable federal tax liability is greater than $50,000, including penalties and interest. It also requires that a Notice of Federal Tax Lien has been issued, IRS Appeal rights have expired, or a levy has been issued and the IRS and the taxpayer have not come to some type of agreement. Each one of these steps requires notice from the IRS. If all notices have gone unanswered, the IRS will send one last notice to inform you that your information has been passed along to the State Department. At which time your application or passport may be put on hold for 90 days to allow you to resolve your tax liability.
The good news is that the FAST Act is being implemented in a ‘staged rollout’ and revocation of passports has not been begun. This will change very soon as the IRS has recently indicated that implementation will begin in a few months. If you have received notifications from the IRS and plan to take a trip in the near future, there is time to protect your passport. Contact us at Dill Dill Stonbraker & Hutchings, PC. Our tax attorneys will be able to provide guidance and clarification on how to resolve your tax debt through an Offer in Compromise, a Collection Due Process hearing, or an Installment Agreement, if appropriate. Act now to prevent the loss of your passport. Contact us directly at (303)777-3737 or firstname.lastname@example.org.