Do You Owe Back Taxes? Your Passport Might Be Revoked

Photo by Vara I / Shutterstock.com

Owing Uncle Sam back taxes can seriously hamper your travel plans outside the United States.

A newly implemented federal law — known as the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, or FAST Act — requires the Internal Revenue Service to provide the U.S. State Department with a list of Americans who have seriously delinquent tax debt, CBS MoneyWatch reports.

The State Department can then deny, revoke or limit passports for the delinquent taxpayers. Forbes explains:

“The law isn’t limited to criminal tax cases, or even cases where the IRS thinks you are trying to flee. The idea of the law is to use travel as a way to enforce tax collections.”

Although the effective date of the law — which was approved by Congress in 2015 and then signed by former President Barack Obama — was Dec. 4, 2015, the IRS now is ready to start implementing it in March.

The law applies to Americans with seriously delinquent tax debt of $50,000 or more who have a tax levy issued or a tax lien filed against them. According to CBS MoneyWatch:

While [$50,000] sounds like a lot, it also includes penalties and interest — and anyone who has been notified about unpaid taxes knows that interest and penalties can add up fast.

CBS MoneyWatch says the IRS considers the following people to be “excepted” from the FAST Act:

  • Individuals who have an installment agreement with the IRS to pay back taxes.
  • Individuals who have settled their back taxes through an offer in compromise or a Justice Department agreement.
  • Individuals who appeal a tax levy through an IRS collection due process hearing.
  • Individuals who file Form 8857 and request innocent spouse relief.

According to Forbes, before it denies a passport, the State Department will hold your application for 90 days to give you time to resolve erroneous certification issues, pay your tax debt in full or enter into a payment agreement with the IRS.

Beginning in March, you can call the National Passport Information Center at 877-487-2778 to discuss your specific situation.

What do you think of this law? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook.

How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes

Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.

Read Next
Beware These 3 Tax Penalties on Retirement Accounts
Beware These 3 Tax Penalties on Retirement Accounts

Protecting a nest egg is tough — but you can make the situation far worse with some boneheaded mistakes.

16 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
16 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2020
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2020

Follow these tips to save — so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

5 Monthly Bills You Can Easily Negotiate Down
5 Monthly Bills You Can Easily Negotiate Down

Here’s how to bring down recurring expenses and save hundreds — or even thousands — of dollars each year.

8 Ways to Slash Your Internet Bill
8 Ways to Slash Your Internet Bill

No matter what price you are paying for internet service, taking these simple steps can lower it.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?

Two factors determine how much money is coming to you.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store
21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store

Dollar stores have great bargains on these familiar purchases. Yes, even pregnancy tests.

13 Brilliant Bulk-Buy Items on Amazon
13 Brilliant Bulk-Buy Items on Amazon

Every household should have these products on hand. Buying them in bulk on Amazon saves you cash.

6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman
6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman

Beware: The self-proclaimed personal finance expert has a track record that suggests more sizzle than steak.

5 Household Disinfectants That Can Destroy the Coronavirus
5 Household Disinfectants That Can Destroy the Coronavirus

You likely already have some of these products at home.

This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked
This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked

The Social Security Administration is not helping certain people get money to which they are entitled, a report says.

Getting These 2 Shots Could Reduce Your Risk of Dementia
Getting These 2 Shots Could Reduce Your Risk of Dementia

These vaccines may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by up to 40%.

America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise
America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise

Have you heard of this appliance manufacturer?

9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline
9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline

Forget expensive specialty products. Good ol’ petroleum jelly can address many common annoyances.

19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret
19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret

Think twice before buying these things.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing food supply. Is your pantry prepared?

8 of the Worst Things to Buy at a Dollar Store
8 of the Worst Things to Buy at a Dollar Store

Not everything sold at dollar stores is a great bargain or a safe purchase. Here’s our list of products to avoid.

Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best
Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best

One brand takes five of the top honors, while another ranks highest in three categories.

41 Things You Should Never Buy
41 Things You Should Never Buy

Some purchases are just plain dumb. Give yourself — and your budget — a break. Don’t spend money on this stuff.

9 Indestructible Products That Are Worth the Price
9 Indestructible Products That Are Worth the Price

If you’re willing to pay a little more for these products, you may never have to shop for another again.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

8 Award-Winning Products That Impressed 40,000 Shoppers
8 Award-Winning Products That Impressed 40,000 Shoppers

The Product of the Year awards help shoppers find the best pet products, personal care items and everything in between.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.