The IRS has informed taxpayers via its website that the agency will begin, in early 2017, to remit certifications to the U.S. State Department for individuals who are seriously delinquent in paying their tax debt. Such certification could impact an individual’s ability to obtain or keep a U.S. passport. At this time, the IRS has not started certifying tax debt to the State Department, the agency reported on its website.
On its website, the IRS explained that seriously delinquent tax debt is an individual’s unpaid, legally enforceable federal tax debt totaling more than $50,000 (including interest and penalties) for which a notice of federal tax lien has been filed and all administrative remedies under Code Sec.6320 have lapsed or been exhausted, or a levy has been issued.
However, the IRS explained, some tax debt is not included in determining seriously delinquent tax debt. Such tax debt includes:
- Being paid in a timely manner under an installment agreement entered into with the IRS.
- Being paid in a timely manner under an offer in compromise accepted by the IRS or a settlement agreement entered into with the U.S. Justice Department.
- For which a collection due process hearing is timely requested in connection with a levy to collect the debt.
- For which collection has been suspended because a request for innocent spouse relief under Code Sec. 6015 has been made.
Before an applicant’s passport is denied, the State Department will hold the application for 90 days. During the 90 days, an individual can resolve any erroneous certification issues; make full payment of the tax debt; and/or enter into a payment alternative, such as an installment agreement. There is no grace period for resolving the debt before the State Department revokes a passport, the IRS added.
The IRS will notify taxpayers in writing if the agency makes a certification to the State Department. The agency will also notify taxpayers in writing if it reverses a certification. In addition, the IRS will provide notice within 30 days of the date the debt is fully satisfied, becomes legally unenforceable or ceases to be seriously delinquent tax debt.
Taxpayers may seek judicial review of certifications. If the Tax Court or a federal district court finds the certification was erroneous, the court may order the IRS to notify the State Department. There is no administrative process before filing suit in court, the IRS explained.
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