Posted: 1:16 am ET
In December 2015, we reported in this blog about the “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act,” or “FAST Act.” One item included in the FAST Act, which had been signed into law, affects the State Department and the traveling American public. Section 7345 provides for the revocation or denial of U.S. passports to applicants with certain tax delinquencies considered ‘seriously delinquent tax debt’ –that is, a tax liability that has been assessed, which is greater than $50,000 and a notice of lien has been filed. (see New Law Authorizes Revocation or Denial of U.S. Passports to Certain Tax Delinquents).
A recent IRS notice says that the agency has not yet started certifying tax debt to the State Department but that such certifications will begin in early 2017. The website here currently provides information “for informational purposes only” but will be updated to indicate when the process has been implemented. Excerpt:
If you have seriously delinquent tax debt, IRC § 7345 authorizes the IRS to certify that to the State Department. The department generally will not issue or renew a passport to you after receiving certification from the IRS.
Upon receiving certification, the State Department may revoke your passport. If the department decides to revoke it, prior to revocation, the department may limit your passport to return travel to the U.S.
Certification Of Individuals With Seriously Delinquent Tax Debt
Seriously delinquent tax debt is an individual’s unpaid, legally enforceable federal tax debt totaling more than $50,000* (including interest and penalties) for which a:
–Notice of federal tax lien has been filed and all administrative remedies under IRC § 6320 have lapsed or been exhausted or
–Levy has been issued
Some tax debt is not included in determining seriously delinquent tax debt even if it meets the above criteria. It includes tax debt:
–Being paid in a timely manner under an installment agreement entered into with the IRS
–Being paid in a timely manner under an offer in compromise accepted by the IRS or a settlement agreement entered into with the Justice Department
–For which a collection due process hearing is timely requested in connection with a levy to collect the debt
–For which collection has been suspended because a request for innocent spouse relief under IRC § 6015 has been made
Before denying a passport, the State Department will hold your application for 90 days to allow you to:
–Resolve any erroneous certification issues
–Make full payment of the tax debt
–Enter into a satisfactory payment alternative with the IRS
There is no grace period for resolving the debt before the State Department revokes a passport.
- Certification Of Individuals With Seriously Delinquent Tax Debt
- Annual Adjustment For Inflation
- Taxpayer Notification – Notice CP 508C
- Reversal Of Certification – Notice CP 508R
- Judicial Review Of Certification
- Payment Of Taxes
- Passport Status
Note that the passport denial for individuals who owe more than $2500 in past-due child support, based on a certification by the responsible State child-support agency to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been challenged and upheld in two cases before Federal courts: Eunique v. Powell, 281 F.3d 940, 2002 (9th Cir. Cal. 2002 – statute does not violate Fifth Amendment freedom to travel internationally); Weinstein v. Albright, 261 F.3d 127; 2001 (2nd Cir. 2001 – statutory and regulatory scheme comports with due process and equal protection).