Applying for a passport is an important task for anyone trying to travel internationally – but what if you owe taxes? Tax debt can have serious implications on your ability to get a passport, and as such, it’s important to understand the ramifications of having tax debt when looking into getting one. This post will examine if you can get a passport if you owe taxes, focusing on the different scenarios in which they might come into play and offering advice on keeping track of your taxes should you want to apply at a later date. Whether you’re considering applying now or making plans down the road, this information can help ensure that nothing stands between you and your next big trip abroad!
Can You Get a Passport If You Owe Taxes?
In some cases, having unpaid taxes can affect your ability to get or keep a passport. The IRS can declare you a “seriously delinquent taxpayer” and inform the State Department. This allows the State Department to deny your application for a new passport or restrict or cancel an existing one. This is authorized under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015.
If you owe more than $54,000 in federal taxes (adjusted annually for inflation) and the IRS has filed a notice of federal tax lien because you haven’t paid, you have a “seriously delinquent tax debt.” This means you’ll be subject to various enforcement measures by the IRS. However, some exceptions exist, such as if you’ve already arranged an installment plan or offer in compromise or if you’ve requested innocent spouse relief.
How to Avoid Passport Restrictions?
To avoid passport restrictions caused by tax debts, the best course of action is to resolve the debt with the IRS or make alternative payment arrangements. Here are some steps you can take:
- Determine the amount owed: Please contact the IRS to find out the exact amount of tax debt you owe, which should also include any applicable penalties and interest charges.
- Develop a plan: Create a repayment plan after determining your owed amount. Several options include paying the debt completely, negotiating an installment agreement with the IRS, or proposing a compromise.
- Pay the debt in full: To avoid any restrictions on your passport, paying off your entire debt is advisable. Doing so will prompt the IRS to lift any liens or levies it may have imposed and remove the certification of seriously delinquent tax debt.
- Enter into an installment agreement: If you’re unable to pay your entire debt, you can make monthly payments through an installment agreement with the IRS until it’s fully paid off. This will suspend the seriously delinquent tax debt certification as long as your payments are made on time.
- Make an offer in compromise: You can seek to settle your tax debt for less than the full amount by applying for an offer in compromise, provided that you prove to the IRS that you cannot afford to pay the entire sum.
- Request innocent spouse relief: If your spouse has a tax debt and you are being held accountable for it, you can ask for it to remove the tax liability and any associated penalties and interest.
In conclusion, owing taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can seriously impact one’s passport status. This is why taxpayers need to understand their obligations as required by the IRS and keep up with them to avoid tax liability. Staying ahead of your tax filing and paying liabilities mitigates the chance that you will be denied a passport or, worse yet, face financial penalties.
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