The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has a new tool to enforce tax collections: Travel by U.S. Citizens. The IRS has posted new details on its website on the Revocation or Denial of Passport in Case of Certain Unpaid Taxes. Under section 7345 of the tax code, the IRS may certify individuals with seriously delinquent tax debt (generally, more than $50,000.00) to the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”).
The IRS is required to notify the taxpayer in writing at the time the IRS certifies seriously delinquent tax debt to DOS. The IRS is also required to notify the taxpayer in writing at the time it reverses certification. The IRS will send written notice by regular mail to a taxpayer’s last known address.
Upon receiving certification, DOS, under its authority of section 32101 of the FAST Act, may not issue or renew a passport after receiving certification from the IRS. Additionally, prior to revocation, DOS may limit your passport to only return travel to the U.S. However, before the denial of a passport, DOS will hold the application for 90 days to allow the taxpayer to (i) resolve any erroneous certification issues; (ii) make full payment of the tax debt; and (iii) enter into a satisfactory payment alternative with the IRS.
If you need your U.S. passport to keep your job, once your seriously delinquent tax debt is certified, you must fully pay the balance, or make an alternative payment arrangement to keep your passport.
If your passport is cancelled or revoked, after you’re certified, you must resolve the tax debt by paying the debt in full, making alternative payment arrangements or showing that the certification is erroneous. The IRS will notify DOS of the reversal of your certification within 30 days of the date the tax debt is resolved.
If you need to verify whether your U.S. passport has been cancelled or revoked, contact DOS by calling the National Passport Information Center at 877-487-2778.