IRS Notice CP508C – What does it mean?


If you received a CP508C notice, the IRS has identified your tax debt as “seriously delinquent” and has provided that information to the State Department. The State Department generally will not renew your passport or issue a new passport to you after receiving this certification from the IRS, and they may remove or place limitations on your current passport.


How does the process work? Will I be stopped in the airport?

Upon receiving the certification of you tax debt from the IRS, the State Department may revoke your passport or limit it to return travel to the U.S.  They also will deny passport applications.


You can use your passport until you’re notified by the State Department that it’s taking action to revoke or limit your passport. If you think you have a tax debt but have not received any notices yet, ensure the IRS has your correct address on file. They send all notices to the last known address on your file. Also, the IRS themselves have admitted that oftentimes when they send mail to US citizens living overseas, the mail is lost.


What is seriously delinquent tax debt?

Seriously delinquent tax debt is an an unpaid, legally enforceable federal tax debt totaling more than $50,000 (including interest and penalties) for which:

  • Notice of federal tax lien has been filed and all administrative remedies under Internal Revenue Code Section 6320 have lapsed or been exhausted, or
  • A levy has been issued.


How do I get this certification reversed?

The IRS will reverse the certification when:

  • The tax debt is fully satisfied or becomes legally unenforceable.
  • The tax debt is no longer seriously delinquent.
  • The certification is erroneous.
  • They will not reverse it if you simply pay enough to get your tax debt under the $50,000 threshold


What if I am required by my job to travel? Or what if I have an emergency situation where I have to travel overseas?

The IRS has stated the if you need your passport for work, you do not get any preferential treatment. You have to take the same steps as anyone else to reverse the certification.


They have said that they will consider "emergency and humanitarian" issues on a case by case basis. They have not outlined any specific guidelines as of this writing.


What if I can't afford to pay off my tax debt? 

  • You can enter into an Installment Agreement allowing you to pay the debt over time.
  • You submit an Offer in Compromise and the IRS accepts it
  • Enter into a settlement agreement with the Justice Department to satisfy the debt.
  • If you request Innocent Spouse Relief, collection is suspended
  • You can make a timely request for a collection due process hearing in connection with a levy to collect the debt.


If I believe the certification was made in error or don’t agree with the tax debt amount, whom do I contact?

If you believe the certification was made in error or disagree with the tax amount, you should call the number listed on the top right corner of the notice.

If you’ve already paid the tax debt,  you can send proof of that payment to the address on your notice.


How long will it take to get my U.S. passport after the certification is reversed

The IRS will notify the State Department that the certification was reversed within 30 days of the reversal. You can contact the National Passport Information Center at 877-487-2778 for more information about the status of your passport.


If I recently filed my tax return for the current year and expect a refund to pay my liability in full, will this resolve my passport issue?

Yes. The IRS will apply the refund to the debt. If the refund is sufficient to satisfy your seriously delinquent tax debt, the certification will be reversed.


I'm a U.S. citizen living overseas and have plans to return to the U.S. Will I be able to return?

If the State Department decides to revoke your passport, they may either limit your passport only for return travel to the U.S., or issue you a limited passport that only permits return travel.


If you've received a CP508C and need assistance, contact us. We can help. Call us at 888-727-8796 or email info@irsmedic.com