Unpaid Taxes = Denial of Your Passport?

Practice Areas

By: Shailesh Patel

  1. Do you owe the IRS more than $50,000 (including interest and penalties) in tax debt?
  2. Do you need your U.S. passport to keep your job?

Per the official IRS website, beginning January of 2018, an individual’s unpaid federal tax debt totaling more than $50,000 (including interest and penalties) is considered a “seriously delinquent tax debt”.

How will you know if this applies to you?

The IRS will mail a written notice to your last known address then they will notify the State Department of your unpaid taxes. This could result in the denial or revocation of your U.S. passport.

How to prevent denial of your passport application?

Before denying your passport, the State Department will hold your application for 90 days to allow you to resolve any incorrect certification issues, make full payments on the tax debts, or enter a satisfactory payment alternative with the IRS.

How to prevent a revocation of your current passport?

If the IRS does report your outstanding tax debts to the U.S. State Department, then your tax debt is considered “certified”. If a certified tax debt is on your record, you are required to pay the balance in full or set up a payment plan with the IRS immediately.

How does a “certified” tax debt affects your current tax return?

If you’ve recently filed your tax return for the current year and are expecting a refund, the IRS will apply your refund amount to the tax debt owed to satisfy your seriously delinquent tax debt.