In the world of international travel, passports are a necessity. They serve as your ticket to explore the world, opening doors to new experiences and cultures. But what happens when this ticket is denied due to unpaid taxes? This is a reality for many Americans who find themselves in a bind with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The IRS and Your Passport
The IRS has increased its efforts in enforcing tax collections on a global scale. As a result, taxpayers who owe money to the government may have their passport application or renewal denied. If you owe more than $52,000 (including interest and penalties) and have a seriously delinquent tax debt with the IRS, they can notify the State Department about your tax issue. Once notified, they will typically deny or revoke your passport applications and renewals.
The State Department’s Role
The State Department plays a crucial role in this process. They are the ones who will deny or revoke your passport applications and renewals once they receive notification from the IRS. They will also deny new passports for individuals who fall under certain categories:
- Currently undergoing serious felony charges
- Have been arrested outside of the United States
- Had their passport previously revoked
- Are subject to certain court orders
What is Seriously Delinquent Tax Debt?
The term “seriously delinquent tax debt” might sound intimidating, but it’s important to understand what it means. According to the IRS, seriously delinquent tax debt refers to unpaid, legally enforceable federal tax debt (including assessed penalties and interest) totaling more than $59,000 (adjusted yearly for inflation). These debts include U.S. individual income taxes, Trust Fund Recovery Penalties, business taxes for which taxpayers are personally liable for and other civil penalties.
What Debts are Not Certified to the State Department?
Not all tax debts will lead to passport denial or revocation. The IRS does not certify certain debts to the State Department. These include:
- Child support
- Debts being timely paid through IRS-approved installment agreements
- Debts being timely paid with an Offer in Compromise accepted by the IRS
- Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Account (FBAR) penalties
- Settlement agreements entered into with the Department of Justice
- Debts for which a Collection Due Process Hearing regarding a levy to collect the debt has been timely requested
- Those suspended because of a request for innocent spouse relief
What Can You Do To Resolve The Issue?
Don’t let unpaid taxes ruin your travel plans! Consider taking the following steps if you believe that this may affect you:
- Check Your Tax Records: Verify that there is no mistake in how much taxes are owed by requesting an updated transcript of account from the IRS.
- Set Up A Payment Plan: Enter into an installment agreement with the IRS in which payments can be made over time.
- Qualify For An Offer In Compromise Agreement: This option allows taxpayers to offer less than what they owe as a full settlement amount.
- Request A Certification Of Resolution From The IRS: Individuals who pay off their debts fully or make acceptable payment arrangements may request certification of resolution from the IRS before applying for or renewing a passport.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can the government really deny my passport if I owe taxes?
Yes, the government can deny your passport if you have “seriously delinquent tax debt.” According to the IRS, this means that you owe $54,000 or more in back taxes, and they have filed a Notice of Federal Tax Lien and sent you multiple notices requesting payment.
If my passport is denied due to tax debt, what can I do?
You should contact the IRS immediately and arrange a payment plan or make arrangements to pay off your tax debt in full. Once your tax debt has been resolved in accordance with IRS procedures, they will notify the State Department so that they can process your passport application.
What other reasons could lead to my passport being denied?
In addition to seriously delinquent tax debt, there are several other reasons why your passport may be denied or revoked, including:
- Being subject to a felony warrant
- Being prohibited from leaving the U.S.
- Having outstanding federal loans (such as student loans)
- Failing to provide child support payments
- Domestic violence convictions leading up till 1997
It is important for travelers who need their passports for upcoming travel plans such as trips abroad should ensure that all their obligations are paid on time so that they don’t bear any risk of denial of Passport issuance or renewal. Remember that it takes time for these issues to resolve themselves – don’t wait until it’s too late!
**H3: What happens if I have a tax debt over $50,000 and want to travel internationally in 2024?**
Answer: The IRS may deny, revoke, or limit your U.S. passport if you have a seriously delinquent tax debt, defined as over $50,000. The blog post provides solutions for managing your debt and reinstating your passport.
**H3: Can I reinstate my passport if I set up a payment plan for my tax debt?**
Answer: Yes, the IRS will lift the passport denial once you’ve made arrangements (like setting up a direct debit installment agreement) to resolve your tax debt. The post discusses the importance of keeping up with your payment plan to avoid future denials.
**H3: What other measures can I take to prevent the IRS from denying or revoking my passport?**
Answer: In addition to setting up a payment plan, you can request a certification of appropriate financial hardship, discuss an offer in compromise, or explore other debt relief options. Read the blog post for details on each option and how they may strengthen your case to keep your passport