April 15, 2012
A new bill making its way through Congress could allow the federal government to prevent Americans who owe back taxes from leaving the country.
The provision is part of Senate Bill 1813, which was introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) in November and passed by the Senate on March 14 “to reauthorize Federal-aid highway and highway safety construction programs, and for other purposes.”
Those “other purposes” have come to include a little-known amendment recently introduced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that would allow the State Department to revoke, deny or limit passports for anyone the Internal Revenue Service certifies as having “a seriously delinquent tax debt in an amount in excess of $50,000.”
While the provision does make exceptions if the debt “is being paid in a timely manner” or “in emergency circumstances or for humanitarian reasons,” it doesn’t require that a person be charged with tax evasion before having their passport revoked — only that the IRS has filed a notice of lien or levy against them.
Forget Travel If You Owe The IRS
April 7, 2012
If he were in charge of travel, the Soup Nazi might say, “No Passport for you!” In real life, travel may seem unrelated to taxes, except perhaps for those annoying airport taxes on international destinations. But a bigger tax and travel connection could keep you at home—permanently.
A tax law quietly proposed a few months ago—Owe IRS Taxes, Lose Your Passport—is quietly gaining momentum. Now more people have noticed. If you owe the IRS? You’re not going anywhere if this law passes. In America, we love to tinker with our tax laws. Congress is always introducing one bill or another to tweak an already bloated and increasingly dysfunctional tax system.
It’s curious how ingredients go into the sausage, often making strange legislative bedfellows. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) proposed that if you owe the IRS more then $50,000, you shouldn’t get a passport. See Sen. Orrin Hatch’s Memo to Reporters and Editors. Now this ‘we-need-the-money’ provision has morphed into Senate Bill 1813, introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA). It was introduced in November and passed by the Senate on March 14 “to reauthorize Federal-aid highway and highway safety construction programs, and for other purposes.”