The Passport Denial and Revocation Law
It has now been almost 2 years since the FAST Act was passed. The FAST Act included a provision that amended the US tax code to give the power to the IRS to have your passport revoked or denied for unpaid federal income tax taxes of $50,000 or more. While we have had clients bring us IRS collection notices that include a paragraph about passport revocation and denial, the IRS had not yet begun to seize passports.
Taxpayer Advocate Updates
On the call was Rostyslav Shiller and Amanda Bartmann, Attorney Advisors to the National Taxpayer Advocate. We truly appreciate the work that Nina Olson and the Taxpayer Advocate team does. They informed us of some updates:
- At the start of implementation, upon IRS certification, the Department of State (DOS) will begin denying passport applications and will implement the revocation program at a later date. Here is the link to the National Taxpayer Advocate blog for more on this.
- Initially, the DOS will only be denying passport applications for certified individuals. TAS understands the IRS is still developing plans to determine for which taxpayers it will recommend the DOS revoke passports.
- The IRS has not publicly announced an official implementation date, but has communicated to TAS that the certification program could begin in early 2018.
- The National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson has issued interim guidance to her staff, specifying that all taxpayer cases involving revocation, limitation, or denial of passport under section 7345 be accepted into TAS under Criteria 9, Public Policy. Click here for public release Interim Guidance Memorandum (IGM).
Why start with just passport denials?
We believe that the IRS will be starting with denials because there will be less red tape than with revocations. Simply denying someone a passport because of tax debt is much easier than tracking down those that owe over $50,000 and actively taking their passports away. We can't seem to find anyone at the IRS or State Department that can tell us exactly what the revocation process looks like, or the reinstatement process. Will they actually stop you in the airport? What if you are living in another country – can that country take your passport?
Taxpayer Advocate Assistance for your passport
As with any agency, the Taxpayer Advocate has limited resources based on their budget. They believe that when passport denial and revocation actually go into effect, they may be inundated with requests from the public for help. They understand that US persons living overseas rely on their passports more so than citizens living in the US. Taxpayer cases involving revocation, limitation or denial of passports will be given pripority by the Taxpayer Advocate Service.
If you are concerned about a tax debt and the security of your passport, contact us. We can help. Call us at 888-727-8796 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.