IRS To Revoke Passports Of Tax Delinquent Americans

April 9, 2012

IRS Passport Revocation and Discharge of Income Tax Debts
Senate Bill 1813 will allow for the revocation of passports from anyone who owes more than $50,000 to the Internal Revenue Service. The Bill will Amend Sub-chapter D of Chapter 75 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to read:

``SEC. 7345. REVOCATION OR DENIAL OF PASSPORT IN CASE OF CERTAIN TAX
DELINQUENCIES.

``(a) In General.--If the Secretary receives certification by the
Commissioner of Internal Revenue that any individual has a seriously
delinquent tax debt in an amount in excess of $50,000, the Secretary
shall transmit such certification to the Secretary of State for action
with respect to denial, revocation, or limitation of a passport
pursuant to section 4 of the Act entitled `An Act to regulate the issue
and validity of passports, and for other purposes', approved July 3,
1926 (22 U.S.C. 211a et seq.), commonly known as the `Passport Act of
1926'."

The Bill goes on to list a few exceptions to passport revocation such as if a deficiency has since been paid, for a pending hearing to determine the legitimacy of the debt or lastly in the case of joint filers who are no longer married or were subject to other separated, joint filing scenarios.
I don't believe that there is a large number of people emigrating for purposes of income tax-avoidance, but that's only because I've never heard or read of it being an issue. That being so, this appears to be more of a punitive provision, made to punish those who don't or can't pay their taxes by preventing them from vacationing or visiting friends or relatives abroad. This is similar in effect to the powers of the County Family Law Court to take driver's licenses away from non-child support paying parents.
Whether this bill passes or not, people who owe Federal Income Tax should know that under the right circumstances, income taxes can be discharged in a bankruptcy. The general caveats are that the taxes must be filed at least three years prior to the date of filing and that the assessment by the IRS needs to have occurred more than 240 days ago. I have been fortunate enough to do this, which requires service upon Eric Holder as the Attorney General.
If you have income tax debts that you wish to discharge, contact a Jacksonville Bankruptcy Lawyer or call us at (904) 685-1200 for a free consultation.