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The passport revocation and denial program

On Behalf of | Apr 6, 2021 | Internal Revenue Service, Tax Liens

Did you know that you might be denied a passport application or your current passport revoked if you have seriously delinquent tax debt? With the current law, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has the authority to certify any delinquent tax debt to the State Department for action.

One of the State Department’s actions is to deny your passport application or withdraw your current one. For those living abroad, the State Department may provide them with a limited validity passport to directly return them to the U.S.

What is considered as seriously delinquent tax debt?

These are individual unpaid back taxes, including penalties and interest amounting to $54,000 or more. The taxpayer is also required to have been issued with a notice of federal tax lien and a levy by the IRS.

Who is not eligible to be certified as owing a seriously delinquent tax debt?

  • Bankrupt individuals.
  • Those identified by the IRS as victims of tax-related identity theft.
  • Taxpayers living within a federally declared disaster region
  • Those who are waiting for the offer in Compromise with the IRS.
  • Taxpayers who have IRS accepted adjustment that will repay the debt in full.

IRS passport denial process

The notice about your passport denial is sent to your last known address through the mail. Before rejecting the passport application, the State Department gives you a grace period of 90 days to;

  • Fully repay the tax debt.
  • Resolve any erroneous certification issues.

The IRS will reverse certification by sending you Notice CP508R if; the tax is fully paid, the tax is no longer considered seriously delinquent, or the certificate resulted from an error.

Referral to revoke a passport

The IRS may request the State Department to revoke your passport if;

  • If you promised to pay the tax debt but failed.
  • If the IRS determines that you can use your offshore activities to repay your debt but choose not to do it.

Before the IRS alerts the State Department about the revocation, they will send you a letter 6152 requesting you to call them within 30 days to resolve this matter.

What are the IRS payment options for those having a seriously delinquent tax debt?

If you cannot clear the debt in full, you can make payment arrangements like a payment plan or have an Offer in compromise, which will have your certification reversed.

Currently, the State Department has not revoked or denied any passport. If you live abroad or plan to travel soon, it is essential to talk with a tax attorney to strategize options that avoid travel restrictions.


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