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USA Begins Passport Revocation for Delinquent Taxpayers

Transcript of the above video:

In this video as the title suggests we are discussing taxation specifically in the context of US passport issuance or revocation of US passports.

What are we talking about here? Well in more than one video that I have done on this topic over the past couple of years we have been discussing this issue. A couple of years back as a result of what was called the FAST Act, the US Congress passed in the law which allowed passports to not only be refused but also be revoked for those Americans who were delinquent in their taxes and this will have, I said at the time and this is I think back in 2016, that this would have staggering ramifications. Then in 2017, an announcement was made that the IRS was going to begin working with the State Department on basically verifying delinquent taxpayers with the mind toward revocation of passports. Well it appears the full implementation is basically here.

To quote directly from a recent article from, the article is entitled "360,000 plus Americans with Tax Debt May be Denied Passports by IRS".  Quoting directly "Hundreds of thousands of US citizens may have to scrap their holiday plans, the Internal Revenue Service said as it is enforcing a law allowing authorities to revoke and deny passports to those owing over $51,000 in unpaid taxes." Quoting further, "The Fixing America's Surface Transportation or FAST Act, which became a law in December 2015, allows the State Department and the IRS to refuse to issue passports to those with "seriously" delinquent debts that are defined as an unpaid legally enforceable Federal tax liability of more than $51,000 including interest and penalties. That rule envisions denying first time passport applications as well as the renewal of the travel document." Quoting further, for expats this is probably more important, "in a worst-case scenario, a valid passport can be revoked by the State Department."

Now we have discussed this topic at length in other videos. Let me just quote from a different article here. This is from The title is, "You Now Can't Leave the US Unless the IRS Lets You".  Quoting directly, "Historically, however, Governments have often been as concerned with Emigration as they have been with Immigration. Quoting further, "It should not be surprising that the US Government is now cracking down on Americans who have outstanding tax bills by holding their passports hostage. This could affect more than 360,000 Americans, and I urge those who are watching this video go check out these articles because they are quite interesting and reading this in further detail you can kind of get a feel for the nuances this thing, but basically the thing to take away from this video is that we have been saying it for some time now but yes, it has come to fruition. The United States Tax authorities are no longer interested in issuing passports to those with more than $50,000 in unpaid tax liabilities. This is going to have pretty significant ramifications. Apparently, from what I have also read in other articles, this is only the initial batch; this 360,000 is not definitive. We are not done; this is not the end of the list. That is just one part. So we can see another batch next month, we can see another batch in 6 months. I suspect that there will be an ongoing program, sort of a liaison relationship between the State Department and the IRS where they are going to just constantly be handing over records and handing over documentation on people who are delinquent in their tax filings.

As noted in prior videos on this channel, and I really do urge those who are interested in this, check out my prior videos because I go into a lot more detail about the exact nuance of how this all works but as noted in those prior videos, just owing the money may not be enough for them to revoke the passport. One can enter things like an offered compromise or be on a payment plan etc. and be able to go ahead and get a passport issued. 

But the thing to take away from this is that has been a sea change with respect to not only US tax policy but also with respect to the policy on the passport issuance. It is no longer going to be a situation where they can issue it to anyone just willy-nilly. Those who are in arrears in their taxes are going to have real problems in the future getting their US Passport issued.