Passport and Tax Debt: Understanding Revocation
  • March 20, 2024
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Unresolved tax debt can bring more than financial hardship; it can also impact your travel plans. While freely exploring the world is a privilege for many, taxpayers with significant tax debt face the potential for passport revocation by the IRS. Understanding this possibility and seeking professional guidance is crucial for anyone dealing with IRS debt issues. If you are seeking IRS debt relief in Fort Worth, TX, The Law Offices of Nick Nemeth has you covered. In this blog, we will explore the ins and outs of passport revocation due to tax debt, helping you navigate to avoid travel disruptions.

Understanding the Basics

  1. What is ‘seriously delinquent tax debt’?
    Seriously delinquent tax debt is unpaid federal tax debt (including penalties and interest) that exceeds $52,000 and remains outstanding for at least twelve months. If you meet these criteria, the IRS can certify your debt to the State Department, potentially triggering passport actions. These actions include passport revocation, limiting taxpayers’ ability to travel outside the United States, and preventing passport renewal and issuance.
  2. How much does the debt need to be for passport action?
    As mentioned above, the threshold for IRS certification is $52,000. Remember, however, that this doesn’t guarantee action. The IRS considers various factors before certifying, including your tax history, efforts to resolve the debt, and any mitigating circumstances. Taxpayers have the legal right to present their case before the IRS to resolve tax debt issues. You can consult with our experienced tax attorneys in Fort Worth to seek IRS debt forgiveness and prevent passport revocation.
  3. What is the process for IRS certification to the State Department?
    Before taking action, the IRS typically sends a Notice CP508C. This document outlines the intent to certify taxpayers’ debt and potential consequences, including passport revocation. It’s crucial to take prompt action upon receiving this notice, as ignoring or failing to resolve it within 60 days could lead to certification, jeopardizing your passport eligibility. Remember, while the State Department has the final say on issuing, limiting, denying, or revoking passports, the IRS plays a guiding role in this process.

The Legal Implications of Passport Revocation

  1. 1. Impact on Travel Plans

    For taxpayers, whose tax debt meets the ‘seriously delinquent’ criteria and remains unresolved after IRS notification, their passport application can be denied, or the existing passport may be revoked. In certain instances, the State Department may issue a limited-validity passport, specifically for returning to the United States. This passport, however, won’t permit international travel beyond returning home. Exceptions and Special Circumstances: There are exceptions to passport revocation. If, for example, a taxpayer can demonstrate financial hardship or an inability to pay due to exceptional circumstances, they may qualify for tax debt relief and avoid passport action. Consult with our tax attorney in Fort Worth, TX, to navigate available exceptions and explore your options.

  2. 2. Impact Beyond Travelling

    Passport revocation can significantly impact your personal and professional life, extending far beyond restricting your travel aspirations and affecting your ability to:

    • Secure employment: Certain professions, especially those requiring international travel or security clearances, may not be accessible with a revoked passport. This can limit your career options and hinder your professional growth.
    • Maintain professional licenses: Some professional licenses require a valid passport for renewal or continued practice. Revocation can jeopardize your ability to maintain your livelihood in certain fields.
    • Rent an apartment: Some landlords, particularly those managing high-security buildings or requiring background checks, may be hesitant to rent to individuals with revoked passports. This can limit your housing options and create additional challenges.
    • Travel for personal reasons: While a revoked passport primarily impacts international travel, it can also affect your ability to travel within the United States for personal reasons. This can limit your ability to visit family, attend important events, or simply explore your own country.

    The emotional impact of passport revocation can be equally significant. The feeling of being restricted and unable to freely explore the world can be isolating and stressful. It can also create a sense of powerlessness and uncertainty about the future.

Resolving the Issue

The best way to avoid potential passport issues is to address your tax debt proactively. Here are some crucial steps:

  • Respond to IRS notices promptly. Ignoring them can worsen the situation.
  • Contact the IRS to discuss your options. Negotiating a tax debt resolution plan or exploring IRS tax debt help programs can help alleviate the burden and prevent further action.
  • Seek professional guidance. Our tax attorney in Fort Worth, TX can provide personalized advice and advocate for you with the IRS.

Negotiate a Payment Plan with the IRS: The IRS offers various tax relief programs and payment plans to help you manage tax burdens, including offer in compromise, penalty abatement, and release of tax lien. Our experienced tax resolution attorney can help you understand these options and negotiate a plan that fits your financial situation, reducing your stress and helping you move forward. Restore Your Passport Eligibility: Once the tax debt is fully paid, or you’ve entered a satisfactory payment plan, the IRS will notify the State Department to reverse the certification action. The passport restoration process can be expedited by providing detailed information about your travel plans, such as flight itineraries or hotel reservations. If your passport has been revoked, you’ll need to reapply, which may involve additional fees and processing time.

Consult With Our Experienced Tax Attorney in Fort Worth

Facing IRS tax debt and the potential threat of passport revocation is a serious matter. Understanding the risks and actively seeking professional guidance can empower you to take control of the situation and navigate the path towards resolving the debt and regaining your travel freedom. Remember, early intervention and proactive communication with the IRS are key to mitigating the potential consequences and minimizing the impact on your life. At the Law Offices of Nick Nemeth, we understand the complexities of IRS debt and its potential impact on your travel plans and overall life. Our experienced tax attorneys in Fort Worth, TX are dedicated to providing personalized and comprehensive legal guidance to help you resolve your tax debt, prevent passport revocation, and regain control of your finances and future. To discuss your requirements, call (817) 623-5399. Alternatively, you can fill out our contact form.

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What Our Clients Have to Say

Susan WilsonSusan Wilson
03:27 25 Jan 23
I have been very pleased with the solid counsel and guidance that Nick Nemeth has provided me regarding my tax issue. I found him to be honest and straightforward which I appreciated. I was impressed with his relevant experience and knowledge . He has definitely brought me peace of mind during a difficult and stressful time.
Sarah HowardSarah Howard
03:44 14 Nov 22
I would like to thank Mr. Nick and his staff for the superb help that I received from them. My IRS problem was resolved quickly and efficiently. It took 2 visits to convince me that I was over my head. I thought that I could call the IRS, appeal my tax notices and settle on a payment plan on my own. After many phone calls to the IRS, waiting sometimes more than 4 hours with no resolution to speak of, it proved to be extremely difficult and stressful. Revisiting Mr. Nick was a huge wake up call. My account was reviewed, and a payment plan was established with the IRS within a week. I will be forever grateful to the staff who worked on my case and especially to Lorna who listened to me vent while going through this painful process.
00:33 07 Aug 22
I cannot say enough good things about Nick and his team. When I first met with Nick he was up front, honest, friendly and efficient. When I worked with one of his attorneys, Eric B, I was just as pleased. All of the staff there are nice and very helpful. I wish I hadn't waited so long to get help with my issue. Over 6yrs I tried getting through and getting anywhere with the IRS and hardly made any progress. I know this may not be the case for all, and even I thought it would take longer than it did, but 3mos and they had my situation straightened out. I still can't believe it. Thank you thank you THANK YOU for all that you did for me. This is a huge burden gone out of my life now thanks to you. If anyone needs help out there, I know you may not want to shell out more money to get their help but it may just save you in the long run.
Spoilly GirlSpoilly Girl
23:49 03 Aug 22
The Nemeth Law team is exceptional. They treat their clients like a family member who is in crisis. They want you to get the best possible outcome. I really appreciate everything that they did for me. Jake and Ashley had the greatest role in my case and it all turned out for the best for me. Thank you Nick and team for easing my fears and getting me through the long process. I'm truly grateful.
Eddie WaltEddie Walt
19:44 12 Jul 22
During a time in which competent, professional service at a fair price seems to have disappeared, Mr. Nemeth and his team are a refreshing breath of fresh air.From my first phone call to the final settlement of our case with a non-responsive IRS, they under-promised, over-delivered and were in constant courteous contact to make sure we knew exactly what was happening and where we stood.I hope to never need their services again, but, should I receive another friendly letter from the IRS...I know who to call!
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