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Taxpayers Urged to Resolve Tax Debt to Avoid Jeopardizing Passports


In 2015, Congress enacted the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which gives the IRS the ability to deny a taxpayer’s passport application or renewal if that individual has unresolved tax debt. Having one’s passport denied or revoked can have significant repercussions on a taxpayer’s personal and professional life, so if you owe a payment to the IRS and have concerns about the fate of your own passport, it is important to contact the experienced Florida tax & IRS attorney Ronald Cutler who can advise you.

The Terms of the FAST Act

The FAST Act gave the IRS the ability to notify the State Department when a taxpayer owes a seriously delinquent tax debt, which means that he or she currently owes $52,000 or more. Once it receives this notification, the State Department is then required to deny any passport applications or renewals submitted by that taxpayer. In fact, the State Department can even go so far as to revoke a taxpayer’s currently valid passport or to limit that individual’s ability to travel outside of the country.

Expedited Reversal Proceedings

Taxpayers who have been notified by the IRS that they owe a seriously delinquent tax debt and who have had their passports revoked by the State Department should contact the IRS immediately, as the agency can help resolve these tax issues and expedite the reversal of the State’s revocation. Generally, when the IRS expedites these types of claims, it can shorten the 30 day processing time by between two and three weeks. Taxpayers who have travel plans scheduled within 45 days or who live abroad can request these expedited proceedings, but must also provide certain documentation, including:

  • Proof of travel in the form of a flight itinerary, cruise ticket, international car insurance, hotel reservation, or other documentation revealing the location and date of travel; and
  • A copy of the letter issued by the State Department denying their application or revoking their passport.

Fortunately, taxpayers can avoid these proceedings entirely if they resolve their debts within 30 days of receiving Letter 6152. In most cases, the IRS will recommend not revoking a taxpayer’s passport if there is evidence that the taxpayer is making a good faith effort to resolve his or her debt.

How to Resolve Tax Issues

The State Department will only reinstate a taxpayer’s passport if that individual has addressed his or her seriously delinquent tax debt. This could include:

  • Paying off the tax debt in full;
  • Paying the tax liability under the terms of an accepted offer in compromise;
  • Paying off the tax debt under an approved installment agreement;
  • Paying off the debt under the terms of a Department of Justice settlement agreement;
  • Having collection suspended by making an innocent spouse election or requesting innocent spouse relief; or
  • Having a currently pending due process appeal with a levy.

To find out what other forms of tax relief you could qualify for, please contact our legal team today.

Schedule a Free One-on-One Case Review Today

To set up a one-on-one consultation with an experienced tax and IRS law attorney, please contact Ronald Cutler, P.A. at 386-490-9949 today.