Unlike previous proposals to restrict passport access and use for those owing back taxes to the IRS, H.R.22 — an upcoming bill already passed by both the US House and Senate — looks like a sure thing to be signed into effect. This bill, if it goes into law, will have huge implications for those with federal tax debts wishing to apply for or use a currently-held passport.
As of 12/4/15, this has been passed into law. For the updated information, click here to read "The IRS and your passport".
The "DRIVE" Act
This latest (and possibly greatest) terrible governmental backronym refers to the "Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy" Act of 2015, which is currently undergoing reconciliation by the House of Representative and Senate. The DRIVE Act is the latest iteration of the yearly highway transportation act, which provides funding at specific intervals for maintenance of "surface transportation" and various highway projects.
However, each funding bill contains "Offsets," also known as methods by which funds will be collected to pay for the funding bill itself. And what, dear reader, do you suppose will be used to pay for the DRIVE Act?
Revoking passports and denying passport applications for those with federal tax debts.
Passports and IRS tax debts
Under the DRIVE Act, those with more than $50,000 in owed federal taxes may have their passports revoked by the Department of State or watch helplessly as they're flat-out denied when applying for a passport.
There are some exemptions — namely those people currently involved in a "collections alternative" or those who have submitted an IRS offer in compromise, an appeal against a levy (such as a Collections Due Process Hearing), or are protected under Innocent Spouse Relief.
If you owe money to the IRS
Simply owing money to the IRS won't get your passport revoked/application denied. Owing back taxes and ignoring the problem is what causes these issues with passports. As long as you're working towards resolving your debt, we at IRSMedic predict that you will still be able to travel freely.
As with all tax problems, hiding won't do you any good. Avoiding the problem puts you in a prison of your own fear and keeps you from the future you deserve. If you're feeling overwhelmed and want things to get better, don't hesitate to call.
Contact us at 888-727-8796 (and yes, your information will be subject to the attorney client privilege). We’ve successfully assisted thousands of clients deal with IRS issues. You can also email us at email@example.com.