• James D. Lynch

Overdue Taxes Can Jeopardize Your Passport


This month, the IRS will begin implementation of new procedures affecting individuals with tax debts that are classified as “seriously delinquent.” These new procedures require the State Department to deny the passport applications or revoke the passports of seriously delinquent taxpayers.


A taxpayer with a "seriously delinquent" tax debt is generally someone who owes the IRS more than $50,000 in back taxes, penalties and interest. There are several ways such taxpayers can avoid having the IRS notify the State Department of their seriously delinquent tax debt. They include the following:


● Paying the tax debt in full

● Entering into a payment arrangement with the IRS, such as an approved installment agreement or accepted offer in compromise

● Having requested or have a pending collection due process appeal with a levy, or

● Having collection suspended because a taxpayer has made an innocent spouse election or requested innocent spouse relief.


A passport won’t be at risk under this program for any taxpayer:


● Who is in bankruptcy

● Who is identified by the IRS as a victim of tax-related identity theft

● Whose account the IRS has determined is currently not collectible due to hardship

● Who is located within a federally declared disaster area

● Who has a pending installment agreement or offer in compromise with the IRS

● Who has an IRS accepted adjustment that will satisfy the debt in full

● For taxpayers serving in a combat zone who owe a seriously delinquent tax debt, the IRS postpones notifying the State Department and the individual’s passport is not subject to denial during this time.