Yes, you can be denied a passport if you owe back taxes. Not only can you be denied when applying for a new passport, but your renewal may also be turned down.
However, there is some leeway in how these actions are deployed. Instead of an automatic denial, your application will be held for 90 days. This gives you time to determine whether the certification as seriously delinquent is incorrect or to make payment arrangements with the IRS.
Can the IRS Put a Hold on Your Passport?
Yes, your current passport can be revoked or put on hold. The hold will be released when you make arrangements for repayment with the IRS, whether that be paying in full or setting up a payment plan.
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What Disqualifies You from Getting a Passport?
Can owing back taxes prevent you from getting a passport? Yes. But there are also many other factors that may be standing between you and your travel plans. In addition to being denied a passport if you owe taxes, you may also be disqualified if:
There is an outstanding state or federal warrant for your arrest
One of the conditions of your parole or probation is that you remain in the U.S.
You owe more than $2,500 in past-due child support (Unless you have an arrangement with your state agency)
You have a warrant for a felony in a foreign country
You have unpaid federal loans
You are currently incarcerated
Now that you have a better perspective of all the factors that could be considered in denying or revoking your passport, let’s get back to the main question at hand, “If you owe back taxes, can you get a passport?”. For many, the answer is yes.
How Is Seriously Delinquent Tax Debt Determined?
Only certain tax debt is considered to be in “seriously delinquent” status. If your back taxes are considered seriously delinquent, you will receive a CP508C Notice from the IRS.
However, there are a variety of exceptions that are made when it comes to which back taxes are used to calculate your delinquency status. If your all or part of your tax debt falls within one of the following categories, it may be excluded from what is considered seriously delinquent:
Debt that is part of an approved installment agreement and is being paid on time.
Debt that is part of an IRS-approved Offer in Compromise and is being paid on time.
Debt that is currently under suspended collection on the ground of innocent spouse relief.
Debt that is part of a collection due process hearing that has been requested as part of innocent spouse relief.
Generally speaking, you should be aware of your back taxes falling into one of these categories because it would take action on your part to enter into these agreements or initiate proceedings. However, if you have questions as to whether your debt could be considered seriously delinquent, our tax experts can evaluate the state of your debt and provide back taxes help.
Renewing a Passport If You Owe Back Taxes
There are several important steps to take if you are trying to renew your passport but owe back taxes:
Ensure that you are not seriously delinquent (otherwise, your application for renewal will be denied or put on hold).
If you are seriously delinquent, you need to contact a tax professional and begin the process of negotiating tax resolution with the IRS.
Submit the required information and documents for passport renewal (Form DS-82, current passport, photo, etc.)
Mail in your renewal application.
If your passport renewal is denied because you are considered seriously delinquent, you will need to begin repaying your tax debt to the IRS before you can move forward.
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