The IRS is sending letters to the State Department informing them of individuals who have seriously delinquent debts claiming they don’t qualify for passport issuance or referral. Copies of these notices are being sent to people’s homes driving concern from those wishing to travel overseas.
In 2015, the federal government authorized the IRS to take the passports of taxpayers who have seriously delinquent tax debt.
The IRS is making non-financial threats to those with outstanding debts as a nicer way of getting them to pay owed taxes. Reversing passport revocation is difficult but can be done once tax debt is forgiven:
Erroneous Certification: In an agency the size of the Internal Revenue Service, it is not usual for the right hand to be unaware of what the left hand is doing. One office usually handles the taxpayer’s account, and another office in another city handles IRS passport revocation.
Collections Statute of Limitations Expires: Once the SOL (statute of limitations) expires, all bets are off. The IRS can take no further direct actions to collect the debt. Agents can, however, sell the account to a debt-buyer.
Retroactive Exception: The IRS cannot certify an account as seriously delinquent if the taxpayer is current in an installment agreement, has requested innocent spouse relief, or is slated for a CDP hearing. If the taxpayer falls into one of these exceptions after the IRS passport revocation, the Service will reverse the passport revocation.
Full Payment: This reversal does not apply very often. The taxpayer must pay the entire balance due, which is at least $51,000, before the IRS will take back the action because of payment. Just paying down the debt below this threshold is not enough.
An experienced attorney can expedite this process as much as possible. Contact Ayar Law for solutions to your tax debt and information on passport revocation.
Michigan tax lawyer, Venar R. Ayar, founder of Ayar Law, holds ten years of experience as an accounting specialist and tax lawyer. He earned his Juris Doctor at the University of San Diego School of Law, receiving a Master of Laws in Taxation—the highest degree available in tax. His main focus has become Michigan tax resolution as well as IRS tax resolution, including individual and business tax matters; tax planning, tax compliance and white-collar criminal defense.