If You Owe the IRS Money, You May Lose your Passport in 2018 by Adam Slavin, CPA

Posted on March 06, 2018 by Adam Slavin

Taxpayers with “seriously delinquent” unpaid federal income tax debt in excess of $51,000 may have their passports revoked in 2018.

Under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015, the State Department, upon notice from the IRS, is required to deny passport applications and passport renewals for  individuals who have unpaid tax liabilities and for whom a federal tax lien has been filed. Excluded from the law are taxpayers who are located in a federally declared disaster area, who are in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings, or who the IRS identified as a victim of tax-related identity theft.

To avoid a potential passport issue, the IRS urges U.S. citizens traveling or living outside the country to determine if they have delinquent U.S. tax liabilities and, if they do, to take one of the following actions:

•                   Immediately pay the tax debt in full,

•                   Make timely payments under the terms of an installment agreement with the IRS,

•                   Pay the tax debt under an accepted offer in compromise or under the terms of a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice,

•                   Pay a levy and request a pending collection due-process appeal, or

•                   Make an innocent spouse election or request innocent spouse relief to suspend collection efforts.

Once the tax deficiency is resolved, the IRS will notify the State Department within 30 days to remove any restriction on an existing and pending passport application. The accountants and advisors with Berkowitz Pollack Brant help individuals and businesses maintain tax efficiency while meet their U.S. and foreign tax reporting responsibilities.

About the Author: Adam Slavin, CPA, is a senior manager with Berkowitz Pollack Brant’s Tax Services practices, where he provides tax planning and consulting services to high-net-worth individuals and closely held business.  He can be reached at the CPA firm’s Boca Raton, Fla., office at (561) 361-2000 or via email at