There has been quite a lot of noise regarding the revoking of large numbers of US passports by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Reports have come that almost 260,000 American passports have been revoked by IRS. This action is being taken due to considerable tax debts, as per a renowned law firm in the country.
The State Department and the tax collector have started this enforcement program based on an existing law. Passport applications and revoking existing passports has been denied to candidates, who have outstanding claims and tax payments. There are many US citizens, who have dues of more than $51,000 in penalties and taxes. The IRS opines that the plan will be taken into action against such US citizens.
It was in the month of February this year that the enforcement was commenced. The enforcement includes new American passport application and American passport renewal. Passport applications are denied by The State Department, which are based on the information regarding the outstanding and pending debts received from the IRS.
Still there is some good news for the tax delinquents – there are some safeguards against the defaulters who have a debt of $51,000 or more. As per IRS, the $51,000 tally in tax debt has to qualify as federal tax debt, which is legally enforceable. This also includes penalties and interests.
The first safeguard is that there is no chance of a threat until and unless the taxpayer has received a Notice of Intent to Levy or got a Notice of Federal Tax Lien. If the taxpayer receives either of the two notices, he is entitled for appealing to a Collection Due Process hearing. Usually in such hearings and appeals, a way of negotiation is found or searched for complete resolution of the debt. Once the debt is resolved and cleared, there is no problem in applying for the new passport or getting passport renewal done.
The second safeguard is that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)has the right to apply for passport denial or revocation only after the taxpayer is notified of the intentions. Infact there is a 30 days period for obtaining response from the taxpayer. Only when the request is ignored or not answered satisfactorily, the IRS will go ahead with the denial or revocation of the passport.
It has been reported that due to the steps which are taken, the agency has received almost $11.5m till the end of month of June. This amount has been collected from about 220 individuals, who have settled their outstanding debts in full. There are no pending tax payments by the names of these candidates anymore. This has been reported by IRS. Not only this, the steps have encouraged almost 1400 more candidates for entering into payment agreements. This means that quite handsome amount of outstanding tax amounts will be obtained by the IRS.
As per news and reports from IRS as well as other agencies, almost 362,000 Americans are expected to be affected by these regulations and rules by the end of the calendar year. To be on the safer side, many people are making up their minds in clearing up the tax dues even in small amounts.
However, if there are America citizens, who are residing overseas, they will not be affected for their travel to the US in any manner. Time will prove how successful the venture of the IRS will be in this matter.