Do you presently have any unpaid tax debt? Are you wondering whether you can obtain a passport while you owe these taxes? Well, the answer will really all depend on exactly how much it is that you owe.
So you want to sort out your passport so you can fly away and enjoy a vacation.
Well, the good news is that if you owe less than $53,000 in taxes the IRS will allow you to apply for, or renew your passport. So if you’re only a few thousand dollars in debt you can still enjoy your family vacation.
However, if your debt is more than $53,000 in tax your current passport may actually end up being revoked. So if you’re hoping to be booking flights to jet away to someplace nice you’ll want to start trying to start a repayment plan.
Throughout this article, we will look into exactly what will disqualify you from keeping your passport, and how to get your passport while still owing money to the IRS.
Every citizen has a duty to pay the IRS a certain amount of money through various instances of tax.
The government has ways that it can intercede to ensure that this money does actually get paid to the IRS and one effective way of doing this is to restrict a citizen’s passport privileges if they do not pay.
This relationship between tax and your passport allows the IRS to have some control over your movement to incentivize that all debts are repaid. It also then means that you can’t rack up a massive debt and then bail from the US.
When the IRS decides that an individual is categorized as severely delinquent (owes more than $53,000 in taxes) they will inform the State Department.
The State Department has the authority to revoke your passport and deny a renewal on any old passports. This restriction will not be lifted until the debt has been paid.
Now keep in mind that the average tax debt is only $16,849 and that is way below the threshold of becoming seriously delinquent. So it’s not really something you’ll have to worry about unless you owe quite a considerable amount.
Can The IRS Stop You From Obtaining A Passport When You Owe Tax?
As discussed above, yes owing a large sum in taxes can mean that you’ll be refused a passport. There can be a little bit of wiggle room though in how they’ll go about the process.
Usually, you won’t get an automatic and instant passport ban, but instead, they’ll put your account on hold for three months.
This means that you have 90 days to make some sort of payment arrangement with the IRS. If there is an agreement made between you and the IRS in this 90-day period, you may find that your passport is no longer denied.
Other Factors That Stop You From Having A Passport
Owing taxes is just one of the factors that might stop you from obtaining a passport. Below are several other issues that can mean that you will be disqualified from having a passport.
- You have an outstanding federal or state warrant for your arrest
- A condition of probation or parole denies you permission to leave the country
- You owe a sum larger than $2500 in child support without an agreement with your state agency
- You have a warrant out for your arrest in a foreign country
- You have federal loans that are unpaid
- You are imprisoned
How The ‘Seriously Delinquent’ Status Is Determined
If you are deemed to be Seriously Delinquent you’ll get a CP508C Notice from the IRS to let you know of your status. But how is your tax best determined? Well, there tends to be several exemptions that are considered when calculating your debt.
If you have any tax debt that comes under any of the following categories then it’s likely that the debt won’t count towards your status. Anything else will be taken into consideration.
- Any debt that is part of an approved installment agreement that is paid on schedule.
- Any debt that is part of an IRS-approved Offer in Compromise that is paid on schedule.
- Any debt that is currently under suspended collection on the ground of innocent spouse relief.
- Any debt that is part of a collection due process hearing that has been requested under innocent spouse relief.
Obtaining A New Passport
The good news is that even if you are in more than $53,000 of debt with the IRS there are ways to ensure you can still get your passport as long as you actively try to solve the problem.
If you are regarded as seriously delinquent you won’t have to pay the whole sum upfront before you can go on holiday, so don’t stress about trying to find all the money at once.
You simply need to set up an arrangement of some kind of payment plan or Offer in Compromise to start repaying the debt. As long as you can prove that you will make these payments the IRS can typically revoke your status within 30 days.
So, yes, the IRS can prevent you from renewing your passport if you owe money in taxes. However, this isn’t something you need to worry about all that much because it won’t affect you unless you owe quite a considerable amount of money in tax.
If you do owe a very large sum of money to the IRS, it is best to set up a payment plan with them as soon as possible or you may not be able to enjoy a holiday any time soon.
You won’t be expected to pay the whole amount at once, so don’t let that deter you.
You’ll only need to set up a monthly payment plan and as long as you prove yourself to be reliable with the repayments you’ll be able to jet off to any holiday destination you choose.