Being in debt to the IRS has far-reaching effects that go beyond financial and psychological stressors. In fact, it could also restrict your ability to travel outside the country. As of February 2018, the IRS has partnered with the State Department in sending certifications of unpaid tax debt in order to crack down on Americans who have not paid their taxes. For those who have large, seriously delinquent tax debt, it could mean the denial of a passport application or revocation of a current passport. To keep you informed, Optima Tax Relief reviews how IRS debt can ruin your travel plans.
What Constitutes Seriously Delinquent Tax Debt?
According to IRC § 7345, seriously delinquent tax debt is classified as unpaid, enforceable federal tax debt that exceeds $52,000 (including interest and penalties) that does not qualify for administrative remedies or if a levy has been issued. If you believe you may fall under this classification, it is imperative that you take the steps needed to begin to resolve your liability to the IRS.
Optima Tax Relief Reviews How to Avoid Travel Restrictions
Of course, the easiest way to avoid the risk of travel restrictions is to pay the balance owed or negotiate a monthly installment agreement. The last thing you want is to be stopped right before important travel, or worse, being denied entry on a return trip from overseas. However, if you do happen to be overseas when your passport is revoked, the State Department may provide you with a temporary passport that is only valid for return to the United States.
There are important exceptions and exclusions regarding how the IRS is applying this “No Passport” rule. For a full list of exclusions, exemptions and other criteria, you should visit IRS.gov—but, just to list a few:
- Going through bankruptcy
- Tax-related identity theft
- Located in a federally declared disaster area
- Having a request pending for an installment agreement
- Having a pending offer in compromise with the IRS
- Having an IRS accepted adjustment
Because of the complexity of tax debt, it is often wise to discuss your situation with a qualified tax professional who can advise you on how to proceed. That said, whether you decide to tackle this on your own or with the help of a professional, it’s important that you do not wait to address your IRS debt, as it can leave you grounded, literally!