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As you would expect, tax delinquency comes with numerous consequences that range in severity, depending on how much a person owes the IRS. Possibly one of the lesser known issues is that it affects a person’s ability to leave the country. If you’re facing serious tax debt, your ability to get or use your passport could be in jeopardy.

Under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, the IRS notifies the State Department of people who owe seriously delinquent tax debt – meaning $52,000 or more. The State Department will then deny their passport applications or renewals. Those who have a valid passport could have it revoked, or the State Department could limit their ability to travel outside the United States.

Taxpayers have several options to avoid having the IRS notify the State Department of their tax debt. These include:

  • Paying the tax debt in full.
  • Paying the tax debt in a timely manner under an approved installment agreement.
  • Paying the tax debt in a timely manner under an accepted offer in compromise.
  • Paying the tax debt in a timely manner under the terms of a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice.
  • Having a pending collection due process appeal with a levy.
  • Having collection suspended because a taxpayer has made an innocent spouse election or requested innocent spouse relief. 

Once you’ve resolved your tax problem, the IRS will reverse the status within 30 days of resolution of the issue and provide notification to the State Department. There are also options to have this process expedited.

What If I’m About to Travel Outside the U.S.?

Call the IRS immediately if you have plans to travel outside the country and you received a Notice CP508C saying that you have seriously delinquent tax debt. The IRS can help you resolve your tax issues and help give you back your ability to use your passport.

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