Wondering, “Can I get a passport if I owe taxes?” A passport is an essential document for international travel. It allows you to enter and leave foreign countries, and it serves as a form of identification. In this post, we’ll look into the issue of passport eligibility for tax debtors and if you can get a passport if you owe money to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Passports and the IRS
The IRS is responsible for enforcing tax laws in the United States. However, the IRS does not have the authority to deny or revoke passports. Instead, the State Department is the agency responsible for issuing and revoking passports.
Passport Application Process
When you apply for a passport, you must provide certain information, including your name, date of birth, and Social Security number. You must also provide evidence of your citizenship, such as a birth certificate or naturalization certificate. Additionally, you must pay a fee to obtain a passport.
Passport Denial or Revocation
The State Department can deny or revoke a passport for several reasons, including when the applicant:
- Is not a U.S. citizen
- Owes child support
- Has a federal warrant
- Has been convicted of certain crimes
However, owing taxes is not one of the reasons why the State Department can deny or revoke a passport.
While owing taxes does not result in passport denial or revocation, the IRS can place restrictions on your passport if you owe a significant amount of money. The IRS can request the State Department to deny or revoke your passport if:
- You owe more than $52,000 in back taxes, interest, and penalties
- IRS has passed out a tax lien against you
If the IRS requests a restriction on your passport, you will be notified in writing. You will have the opportunity to resolve your tax debt or make payment arrangements with the IRS.
Passport Restrictions Exceptions
The restrictions on passports have some exceptions. You might be able to obtain a passport even if you owe taxes; for instance, if:
- You have a payment plan with the IRS
- You are in the process of resolving your tax debt
- You have an emergency situation that requires international travel
If you meet one of these exceptions, you can obtain a passport even if you owe taxes.
Options for Resolving Tax Debt
If you owe taxes and want to obtain a passport, you will need to resolve your tax debt. There are several options available to you, including:
- Paying the full amount owed
- Negotiating a payment plan with IRS
- Making an offer in compromise with IRS
- Disputing the amount owed with IRS
It is important to note that resolving your tax debt can take time. You should start the process as soon as possible to avoid any passport restrictions.
Seeking Professional Help
Resolving tax debt can be a complicated process. It may be beneficial to seek professional help from a tax attorney or certified public accountant. These professionals and tax resolution/consultation services can assist you in negotiating with the IRS and finding a resolution that works for you.
Passport Renewal and Tax Debt
If you already have a passport and need to renew it, owing taxes generally does not affect your ability to do so. However, if you owe more than $52,000 in back taxes and have a tax lien against you, the State Department may refuse to renew your passport until the tax debt is resolved.
International Tax Obligations
If you owe taxes to a foreign government, it may affect your ability to obtain a passport or travel internationally. Some countries may require proof that you have paid any outstanding taxes before allowing entry. It’s important to research the tax requirements of the countries you plan to visit and ensure that you are in compliance with their laws.
Avoiding Future Tax Debt
To prevent future tax debt from impacting your ability to travel, it’s important to stay current on your tax obligations. This includes filing your tax returns on time and paying any taxes owed in full or making payment arrangements with the IRS. If you’re having trouble staying current on your taxes, consider seeking professional help or reaching out to the IRS for assistance.
Owing taxes does not necessarily prevent you from obtaining a passport. However, the IRS can place restrictions on your passport if you owe a significant amount of money. If you owe taxes and want to obtain a passport, you will need to resolve your tax debt. There are several options available to you, and it may be beneficial to seek professional help. Remember to start the process as soon as possible to avoid any passport restrictions.