State Department Denying Passports to Delinquent Taxpayers

As many of 362,000 individuals could be affected by the implementation of a law passed by Congress in 2015 which allows the Department of State to deny or revoke US passports for those who owe $51,000 dollars or more to the Internal Revenue Service or IRS.

The law went into effect in February 2019 and the U.S. Department of State is in the process of sending the names of the debtors to the IRS in order to make them ineligible for renewal or issuance of passports.

The IRS is sending written notifications to the persons who fall in this situation and some are reacting to these restrictions, paying their debts in order to receive passports and not to be flagged by the government.

So far, the IRS has collected from this group of taxpayer 11.5 million in delinquent taxes, and it is starting to negociate with more than a thousand individuals payment plans.

The IRS is not including in the lists that shares with the State Department persons who have contacted the IRS to negotiate installment payments, victims of identity theft and people in federally declared disaster areas such as victims of wildfires or hurricanes, among others.

“It is always important to respond and contact the government in all circumstances, especially the IRS”, said attorney Marcos E. Garciaacosta. “Never ignore a written government communication. Individuals owing money to Uncle Sam should ask the federal agency for a payment plan, or explain the reasons why taxes are not being paid such in the case of being a victim of a natural disaster or identity theft”.

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