IRS Restricting Passports For People With Large Tax Bills
Do you hate filing taxes? Do you drag your feet each year? Be sure to get them in on time this year otherwise the IRS may hold your passport hostage until your debt is paid. This is an action the IRS has rolled out over the last year for those with large tax bills. They are focusing on people with tax bills of $52,000 and over for the time being.
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New Steps Taken By The IRS
If you have not contacted the IRS to work out a payment plan or paid your tax bill in full then they are required to report large debts to the U.S. State Department. This was a law enacted in 2015 but the IRS & State Department have just started confiscating passports over the last year or so.
To reinstate your passport you must pay back the taxes including penalties or at least have a payment plan set up with the IRS. Once that is done the government has 30 days to reinstate your passport.
I am honestly surprised they weren’t doing this already. Even if it was just out of fear of people leaving the country to avoid their large debts. This could be the final nail in the coffin for someone who does business internationally etc. It sounds like the IRS will work with you and figure out payment terms if that is necessary. If you have a large tax bill and need to be able to travel in order to earn the money needed to pay your debts then be sure to contact the IRS. Dodging them does not seem to be an option any longer.
Hat Tip: WSET