Jana M. Luttenegger Weiler, of Davis and Brown Law Firm, writes about a largely unnoticed new provision in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, signed into law by President Obama on December 4th. The provision may prevent individuals with “seriously delinquent” taxes from applying for or renewing their passports. The article begins as follows:
Individuals who are “seriously delinquent” on their taxes may not be able to obtain or renew a passport under a new law signed December 4, 2015. The provision is part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, aimed at funding transportation projects. The provision isn’t exactly related to the purpose of the Act, but was hidden in the details. (The Transportation Department’ssummary of the Act doesn’t even mention the passport provision.)
A new Section 7345 to be added to the Internal Revenue Code requires the Secretary of State to deny or revoke the passport of an individual with a “seriously delinquent” tax debt. “Seriously delinquent” is defined to include tax debt which has been assessed in excess of $50,000, and for which a notice of lien or a levy has been filed. It does not include tax debts if the taxpayer is on a payment plan with the IRS, or if collection is suspended because a due process hearing has been requested or certain other relief has been requested.