Thinking of leaving the country, but have a large tax debt weighing on your finances? Your passport may be denied at the gate due to an IRS travel ban on serious tax offenders.

Detailed under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (IR-2019, 2/27/19), otherwise known as FAST, for any taxpayer owing a “seriously delinquent tax debt” the IRS can revoke, deny at an airport, or forbid renewal of an offender’s passport to prevent them from leaving the country, provided that:
• The debt exceeds $52,000;
• A federal tax lien notice has been issued and all Section 6320 avenues exhausted; and/or
• A levy has been issued.

In effect since 2018 and raised from it’s initial threshold of $50,000, if a taxpayer is found to match the three points above, protocol demands that the IRS notify the State Department, who can then either limit the tax offender’s travel to in-country only, or revoke their passport altogether.

Before taking this action, however, the State Department gives the taxpayer a total of 90 days after receiving a Notice CP508C to either correct an administrative error, pay off the debt in full, or otherwise settle the debt through payment plans or offers in compromise.

If the debt is settled with the IRS within those 90 days, then no negative action against your passport will be taken. If settled after the 90 days when your passport has already been revoked or limited, the ban will be released within 30 days following the IRS receiving payment.

Want to avoid an IRS delinquent tax notice getting sent to the State Department at all? Clear your debt quickly by:
• Paying the debt in full;
• Entering into an offer in compromise;
• Signing up for a payment plan with the IRS or settlement agreement with the Department of Justice;
• Requesting a collection due process appeal towards a levy; or
• Being found an “innocent spouse” and having the debt cleared.

Don’t get stuck at the airport – with a multitude of reasons why it’s never good to owe in taxes, a travel ban makes just one more, so cut the stress and pursue one of the many payment options at your disposal to get your debt settled quickly.

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