Can you get a passport if you owe taxes?

Can you get a passport if you owe taxes?

This recent blog was created to help expand on one of our previous blogs about getting a passport when you owe taxes. Continue reading below for more details!

Can you get a passport if you owe taxes?

The short answer is maybe, as it depends on how much money you owe the IRS. If you owe a substantial amount, which is considered to be more than $51,000 in back taxes, penalties, and interest, then you may be denied a passport. Learn more below on what you’ll need to do to get your passport.

You might be questioning how you can have your passport revoked for back taxes, and this is a valid concern. This legal action regarding passports and taxes stems from a law passed in 2015. This law requires the State Department to deny passports to anyone who owes the IRS a substantial sum. This includes the processing of a new passport application, as well as the renewal of an expired passport. This will affect you as soon as the IRS deems your owed sum as seriously delinquent tax debt, where a notice of federal tax lien has been filed, or a levy has been issued. The IRS has a page on their website dedicated to the specifics here.

There are certain instances, or loopholes if you will, that prevent you from being declared seriously delinquent in taxes. This includes the following:

  • If you’ve set up an IRS-approved payment plan to pay back your tax debt
  • An offer in compromise was proposed that was approved by the IRS
  • A collection due process hearing is requested within a reasonable amount of time regarding a levy to collect the debt
  • Tax collection was suspended due to a request for innocent spouse relief

In addition to the above, if any of the below applies to the taxpayer in question, a passport will NOT be at risk:

  • Bankruptcy
  • An identified victim of tax-related identity theft
  • The IRS has determined the situation as currently not collectible due to hardship
  • Taxpayer who is located within a federally declared disaster area
  • Taxpayer who has a pending request with the IRS for an installment agreement
  • Taxpayer who has a pending request for an offer in compromise with the IRS
  • Taxpayer who has an IRS accepted adjustment that will pay back the outstanding amount in full

In the event you have submitted a passport application, and are considered seriously delinquent in terms of taxes, the State Department will hold your application for 90 days. This will allow you time to fully pay back the delinquent sum, resolve any certification issues, or agree on a payment arrangement for the tax debt with the IRS.

If you’re planning on traveling internationally and know you will need your passport, make sure to act quickly to ensure your passport isn’t revoked beforehand. You should have received or will receive Notice CP 508C, as the IRS is required to contact you in writing at the time they declare you delinquent. Contacting the number on that notification is a great first step. If you haven’t yet received this notice, and have a current passport, you are able to use it until you’ve been notified.

If your passport has already been cancelled or revoked, after you’ve been certified, you have three options. You will need to pay the debt in full, settle on an alternative payment arrangement with the IRS for satisfying the debt, or show that the certification is erroneous. The IRS will then be able to reverse your certification within 30 days and notify the State Department as well.

We hope this information was helpful in resolving the issue of a passport revoked for back taxes. VitalChek is happy to assist you with your vital record needs, should you need a copy of your birth certificate. Best of luck!

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