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Individuals who owe $50,000 or more in taxes may be at risk of losing their passport. Wiggam & Geer founding partner Jason Wiggam learned more on this looming problem during the recent 11th Annual Tax Controversy Forum in New York City. There, IRS counsel, commissioners, directors, and other tax experts provided insight as to future IRS initiatives and enforcement.

In 2015, the IRS enacted a policy that for taxpayers with an IRS-certified “seriously delinquent tax debt” (more than $50,000 in unpaid tax liabilities, interests, and/or penalties), the State Department had the authority to revoke current passports or deny pending passport applications. For the last few years, this policy largely affected those with significant tax debts who were applying for or renewing their passports.

According to IRS officials who spoke at the Tax Controversy Forum, later this year, the IRS and State Department will be revoking current passports, in addition to denying renewals and applications. The IRS will send Notice CP 508C letters to seriously delinquent taxpayers, notifying them that the IRS has certified the tax debt and that the State Department is now authorized to revoke your passport. This includes current passports, passport renewals, and passport applications. If your passport is revoked or application denied, the State Department will let you know, in writing.

The IRS is only required to send one Notice, so it is vital to respond if you receive one. If you have unpaid tax liabilities, interest, or penalties of more than $50,000 there are several ways to prevent that debt from being considered part of a seriously delinquent tax debt. If the IRS has already certified the debt and the State Department has revoked your passport, there are steps you can take to appeal the revocation or to resolve your tax issue. The tax attorneys at Wiggam & Geer can help resolve your tax issues and reverse the IRS certification. For assistance with this and other tax issues, email us at info@wiggamgeer.com or call us at (404) 233-9800.