A controversial law sought to authorize the revocation AND refusal of US passports to those who owed taxes to the government – Who has this affected and how?
Back in December of 2015, President Obama approved a unique piece of legislation titled “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act.” FAST Act provides long-term funding for surface transportation in the US.
This incredibly important and historic piece of legislation affects US taxpayers regardless of where where they reside, simply based on the history of their taxes. This add on has been tacked to the US Internal Revenue Code as a new section (7345) which grants the US State Department the right to revoke or deny passports to any applicant with ‘seriously delinquent tax debt’. Of course, “significant” is not left open-ended here.
Still, this alterations has had significant implications for US taxpayers who travel and/or live outside the United States, whether you currently owe taxes, or could in the near future.
Here, the definition of seriously delinquent debt is tax liability greater than $50,000!
It should be noted that the State Department and not the IRS has the power to revoke or deny any US taxpayer a passport, at any point (although the situation must dictate this decision).
Under this section 7345, the IRS commissioner needs to make a case of ‘seriously delinquent tax debt’ to the Treasury secretary, who is then responsible for transmitting that information to the secretary of State. From there, the decision to certify is based on the aforementioned advice of the IRS, which compiles a sort of “naughty” list.
Additionally, many US taxpayers with significantly smaller tax deficiencies could be affected, as well. The threshold includes penalties and interest, meaning that this law provides for humanitarian and emergency exceptions.
Finally, be sure to message us at ePassportPhoto to get quick guidance from our representatives!