Tax Dictionary – Passport Denial

IRS Definition

If you have seriously delinquent tax debt, tax law authorizes the IRS to certify that debt to the State Department for action. The State Department generally will not issue a passport to you after receiving certification from the IRS. Upon receiving certification, the State Department shall deny your passport application and/or may revoke your current passport. If your passport application is denied or your passport revoked and you are overseas, the State Department may issue you a limited validity passport good only for direct return to the United States.

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“Seriously delinquent tax debt” means a person owes a legally enforceable tax debt of more than $50,000 in unpaid taxes, penalties and interest combined, with:

  • A tax lien filed, and all appeals for lien relief have expired or been denied;
  • Or a levy has been issued.

There are certain exceptions if you have set up a payment plan, the IRS has placed you in currently not collectible status or if you have requested innocent spouse relief.

When the IRS sends notice to the State Department about your seriously delinquent tax debt, the IRS will send CP508C, Notice of Certification of Your Seriously Delinquent Federal Tax Debt to the State Department, to your last-known address to notify you that you are certified as owing seriously delinquent tax debt. The IRS will also send the certification to the State Department. The State Department then has the authority to deny issuance or renewal of your passport, or fully restrict or limit its use. The State Department will notify you in a separate letter about the passport restrictions.

Learn all the options you may have if you can’t pay your taxes.

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