State Dept. Plan To Repeal Passports Of Tax Scofflaws Moves Forward

by Cheryl Rosen
State Dept. Plan To Repeal Passports Of Tax Scofflaws Moves Forward


Are your taxes all paid up?

We don’t mean to pry, but that’s one more question travel agents should consider asking clients planning an overseas trip. The IRS this month officially warned it will begin sending the names of delinquent taxpayers to the State Department so their passports can be revoked.

“If you have seriously delinquent tax debt, IRC § 7345 authorizes the IRS to certify that to the State Department,” the website says. “The department generally will not issue or renew a passport to you after receiving certification from the IRS” and “may revoke your passport. If the department decides to revoke it, prior to revocation, the department may limit your passport to return travel to the U.S.”

While the IRS “has not yet started certifying tax debt to the State Department, certifications to the State Department will begin in early 2017,” the new update says.

Once your name is forwarded to the state department, “the department generally will not issue or renew a passport to you”

“Seriously delinquent tax debt” is defined as “unpaid, legally enforceable federal tax debt totaling more than $50,000 (including interest and penalties) for which a:

  • Notice of federal tax lien has been filed and all administrative remedies under IRC § 6320 have lapsed or been exhausted or
  • Levy has been issued.


The IRS will notify taxpayers in writing, through regular mail to the last known address, when it sends their names to the State Department.

Travelers who are leaving in a few days for international travel and need to resolve passport issues should call the phone number listed on Notice CP 508C, the IRS advises. “If you already have a U.S. passport, you can use your passport until you’re notified by the State Department that it’s taking action to revoke or limit your passport.”

While the change seems to be a sign of the times in an era of travel bans, it was actually signed into law by former President Obama in December 2015. 

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