|The Internal Revenue Service issued this Notice (2018-1) last week regarding legislation passed and signed into law in December, 2015. Until recently, this law was not generally enforced but with the new administration, “taxpayers” who are at risk need to get into a payment program if traveling outside the U.S. is in their plans. Individuals who are seriously delinquent in their taxes are in jeopardy of having their passports suspended or revoked.
Read the IRS Issue Number (IR-2018-7) below if you fall into this category as a serious delinquent (defined below).
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Issue Number: IR-2018-7
Inside This Issue
IRS Urges Travelers Requiring Passports to Pay Their Back Taxes or Enter into Payment Agreements; People Owing $51,000 or More Covered
WASHINGTON ─ The Internal Revenue Service today strongly encouraged taxpayers who are seriously behind on their taxes to pay what they owe or enter into a payment agreement with the IRS to avoid putting their passports in jeopardy.
This month, the IRS will begin implementation of new procedures affecting individuals with “seriously delinquent tax debts.” These new procedures implement provisions of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, signed into law in December 2015. The FAST Act requires the IRS to notify the State Department of taxpayers the IRS has certified as owing a seriously delinquent tax debt. See Notice 2018-1. The FAST Act also requires the State Department to deny their passport application or deny renewal of their passport. In some cases, the State Department may revoke their passport.
Taxpayers affected by this law are those with a seriously delinquent tax debt. A taxpayer with a seriously delinquent tax debt is generally someone who owes the IRS more than $51,000 in back taxes, penalties and interest for which the IRS has filed a Notice of Federal Tax Lien and the period to challenge it has expired or the IRS has issued a levy.
There are several ways taxpayers can avoid having the IRS notify the State Department of their seriously delinquent tax debt. They include the following:
A passport won’t be at risk under this program for any taxpayer:
For taxpayers serving in a combat zone who owe a seriously delinquent tax debt, the IRS postpones notifying the State Department and the individual’s passport is not subject to denial during this time.
In general, taxpayers behind on their tax obligations should come forward and pay what they owe or enter into a payment plan with the IRS. Frequently, taxpayers qualify for one of several relief programs, including the following:
IRS.gov has other tips for taxpayers to catch up on their filing and tax obligations and more information about the revocation or denial of passports because of unpaid taxes.
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