If you owe a big tax bill, your passport could be on the line

Personal Finance


Not all tax debts are covered by the action.

Not included are those who are paying their debt through an IRS installment agreement, offers in compromise with the IRS or a settlement with the Justice Department; have requested a collection due process hearing about a levy; or have had the collection of the debt suspended because they requested innocent spouse relief.

Other taxpayers who will not be affected include those who are in bankruptcy, are victims of tax-related identity theft, have hardships that have led the IRS to deem the debt currently not collectable, reside in a federal disaster area, have put in a request to the IRS for an installment agreement, are in the process of negotiating with the IRS to pay a lesser amount than what is owed and who have had the IRS accept the adjustment they offered.

If you are affected by the enforcement, you will be notified in writing.

“My first piece of advice would be, OK, you got the letter. Now make sure it’s accurate,” said David McKeegan, co-founder of Greenback Expat Tax Services. “If it’s not accurate, get on the phone with the IRS and explain why.”

If you already have a U.S. passport, you can use it to travel unless you receive notice from the State Department, according to the IRS.

If you are an American citizen living overseas, travel to the U.S. will not be affected.

Still, these enforcements could have a “very negative impact for expats,” McKeegan said.

“Most American citizens don’t have a passport, but all expats do. So it could be impacting expats disproportionately,” McKeegan said.



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