How To Stop The IRS From Taking Your Passport

How To Stop The IRS From Taking Your Passport

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If you owe back taxes, a 2015 law gave the IRS the power to revoke your passport. They can certify to the State Department that a taxpayer has a “seriously delinquent” tax debt. Americans with seriously delinquent tax bills will be denied passports or passport renewals if they do not pay their tax bill or make arrangements to pay. Here is what you can do to stop or mitigate the process.

Once the State Department receives certification of tax debt from the IRS, it must discontinue issuing or renewing taxpayer’s U.S. passport. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg! The State Department may also fully revoke your existing passport.

What is a seriously delinquent tax debt?

Seriously Delinquent is defined as an outstanding IRS tax liability in which:

  • You owe the IRS more than $51,000 in back taxes, penalties, and interest
  • Previously filed a Notice of Federal Tax Lien, and the period to dispute it lapsed, or the IRS has issued a levy with respect to the tax debt

Upon receiving certification, the State Department will deny your passport application and/or may revoke your current passport. Your passport can be revoked both when you are in the country and when you are traveling overseas.

So, what can I do?

The IRS won’t count your back taxes as seriously delinquent if your tax debt is:

  • Paid timely with an IRS-approved installment agreement
  • Paid timely with an offer in compromise accepted by the IRS
  • Under protection due to a properly filed appeal
  • Temporarily under a collection hold because a request for innocent spouse relief has been made

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.  You can also try to make an alternative payment arrangement to have your certification reversed. Once you’ve resolved your tax problem, the IRS will reverse the certification within 30 days of resolution of the issue and provide notification to the State Department as soon as practicable.

How can Landmark Tax Group help?

Click “IRS Debt — How to Stop the IRS from Taking Your Passport” to download our FREE report. This report contains full details on this serious issue that impacts taxpayers every year and everything you need to know to avoid this stressful situation.

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