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Hold On To Your Passports If You Owe IRS Taxes

MEL blog 1

“Hold On To Your Passports If You Owe IRS Taxes – January 2018 Revocation Action” By Mary Lopinot

In late 2015, Congress gave the IRS a new tax collection tool aimed at collecting high-dollar tax debts of individuals—the right to recommend revocation of your U.S. Passport. The change was included in roads appropriation legislation (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act) and will become fully implemented on January 1, 2018.

Under the Act, individual taxpayers with seriously delinquent tax debts (i.e., tax debts greater than $50,000) will be subject to a passport revocation recommendation by the IRS to the Department of State if they do not have a resolution in place addressing the tax debt. Between now and January 1, 2018, taxpayers need to enter into an installment agreement, offer in compromise, or other type of tax collection resolution to prevent their passport from revocation. Once January 1, 2018 rolls around, taxpayers could receive a letter from the IRS stating that their passport has been recommended for revocation due to delinquent tax debts. Once certified for recommendation, there are very limited options available to have the recommendation withdrawn.

For taxpayers with this potential issue, the IRS started issuing notice language in collection letters earlier in 2017. The language might not be readily evident in your notices, however, so you should contact the IRS if passport revocation could create serious problems for you, particularly if you need your passport for work or upcoming travel plans. The IRS is not required (and does not plan) to issue a second notice prior to making the recommendation to revoke your passport. Unless this is new tax debt, therefore, your next notice will be to inform you that your passport has been revoked. It’s not a quick process to get the revocation reversed, so start working now on your delinquent tax debt.

Mathis, Marifian & Richter, Ltd. provides advice and services to assist you with resolving delinquent tax debts. Please contact me or one of our tax attorneys at 618-234-9800.

Mary E. Lopinot is a shareholder at Mathis, Marifian & Richter (MMR), who focuses her practice in bankruptcy, creditors' rights, tax litigation, general tax law and criminal tax defense. Mary, who is a registered Certified Public Accountant with the state of Illinois, has extensive experience representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and other administrative agencies.

Professional Services Disclaimer: Please note that the information presented here is as an educational service, and while it contains information about legal issues, it is not legal advice. No warranty is made regarding the applicability of the information presented to a particular client situation, and the information set forth is not a substitute for original legal research, analysis and drafting for a particular client situation.

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