Can the IRS take away your passport for unpaid taxes?


Attorney Charlie Price: Good Morning Tom. Good morning Chris. How are you? 

Attorney Tom Olsen: We’re doing fantastic, thank you. Now Charlie, I had a caller a couple of weeks ago that asked us a question and as soon as I heard it I knew this was a question for attorney Charlie Price, a tax lawyer right here in Orlando and the question was: Can the IRS take away your passport if you fail to pay income taxes?

Attorney Charlie Price: They certainly can. And this is something that really just started in the last couple of months.  It was part of the fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act Bill and in that bill there’s a section called, “Revocation or Denial of Passport and Cases, Certain Tax Delinquencies”. It says that if you have a tax delinquency, the IRS can notify the state department and let them know that you haven’t paid your taxes and the state department can revoke your passport or fail to issue you a passport. They’re treating you like you’re a drug dealer or terrorist because you haven’t paid your taxes. This only applies when you owe the IRS more than $50,000, but that includes penalties and interest and if you know anything about the IRS you know the penalties and interest add up fast.  Many small business owners and self-employed people can very quickly rack up $50,000 in IRS taxes and, under this new law, they can actually then have their passport revoked. This is one more very good reason to get on top of your tax problems, there’s no administrative orders issued yet on it, but the idea being that if you are addressing your tax debts either through an installment agreement, offering compromise or otherwise the IRS won’t seek to revoke the passport. It’s a horrible thing, I think, to result to this punitive damage to revoke a passport.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Does the IRS now want people to leave the United States if they owe taxes to the IRS?

Attorney Charlie Price: No, I think the penalty is really, simply to punish people who haven’t paid their taxes and it’s just one more way, they think, of collecting the tax. 

Attorney Tom Olsen: Alright. Charlie, take a moment to tell us who your typical clients are here in Orlando. 

Attorney Charlie Price: Really my clients run the gamut, from very common W2 employees that had something happen that changed their normal tax structure, to small business owners, a lot of pizza shops, construction companies, a lot of self-employed people including attorneys, realtors, stock brokers, people who have to pay estimated taxes very often but it really runs the gamut. 

Attorney Tom Olsen: How can people reach you at your office? 

Attorney Charlie Price: They can call me at 407-834-0090 or even better if they want to download my app “IRS attorney” either for apple or android, there’s a lot of helpful information and they can get a free download of the book that you mentioned before, normally I sell it for $19.95 on Amazon but for your listeners if they download my app, they can get a free download and I’ll send them a hard copy as well. 

Attorney Tom Olsen: How do they download your app? 

Attorney Charlie Price: Just go to either the apple store or android, enter “IRS attorney” and it’s a free download and then they can download my book and get a hard copy as well. 

Attorney Tom Olsen: Well thank you Charlie, we appreciate it.