By Nick Richards & Keith Buckley
**Update** Our office has been informed by the Internal Revenue Service they will begin to roll out their Passport Revocation Program under Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act or “FAST Act” beginning on January 22, 2018. Taxpayers with who are deemed “seriously” delinquent can expect to receive certified letters in the mail notifying them that their debt has been certified and sent to the State Department.
If your debt has been certified and a certification has been sent to the State Department, your passport may not be renewed. Currently, we have not been told if they State Department will revoke current passports. However, to avoid this any detrimental harm to your passport, we suggest that you contact our office to protect your ability to travel outside the United States.
Previously Posted Article (May 19, 2017)
Help the IRS is Threatening to Revoke my Passport!!
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, the IRS has recently indicated that implementation will begin in a few months. If you have 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.