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The IRS is finally ready to counter threats to withdraw US passports from Americans who owe more than $ 52,000 in overdue taxes.
The Tax Collector and State Department are escalating the enforcement of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. This law allows them to refuse passport applications or revoke existing passports for outstanding debts.
The $ 51
Now, the IRS will begin to actively refer unresolved cases to the State Department for a possible withdrawal The IRS spokeswoman Cecilia Barreda told CNBC
The Department of State refuses passport applications or revokes existing passports based on the information it receives from the IRS. The $ 52,000, according to the IRS, must be considered as an enforceable federal tax liability, including interest and penalties.
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The agency released a press release earlier this week, reminding criminal taxpayers of the provisions of the law.
"Our goal was to remind people that this program was up and running, but in addition that we want to begin referring cases to the US State Department for the purpose of revoking the passport," Barreda said.
The government has reported more than 400,000 According to Barreda, taxpayers have been in jeopardy that their passports are in danger since the beginning of the program.
Based on these announcements, the IRS received $ 11.5 million from 220 people as of the end of June 2018. According to a CNBC report of 13 July 2018, around 1,400 additional people had signed payment agreements at that time. Newer numbers were not available from the IRS.
Taxpayers threatened with the revocation of their passport will also receive a letter informing them of the forthcoming referral to the State Department.
"They will receive [the letter] before the IRS submits a revocation," Barreda said. "If a report is displayed here, taxpayers who have a tax debt should contact the IRS immediately to settle their tax liability and avoid the potential cancellation of their passport."
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Tax attorney Reaz Jafri, partner and global immigration director of Withers Worldwide immigration office in New York, said that this is particularly important in the 30-day window within which debtors must respond.
"Our biggest concern as an international company is that a customer overseas is hit with one of these letters, never sees it and cancels his passport," he said. "It's easy for a customer who returns to the US to find out at the border that his passport is canceled, and the only way to get it back is to pay off the debt."
"But that can take months, if not years. "Jafri added." In the meantime, your family is abroad. "Jafri said he expects the law to be challenged in court someday.
David McKeegan, co-founder of Greenback Expat Tax Services, agreed with CNBC in an interview last week," Most Americans do not have a passport, but all expats have one, "he said at the time," so it could have a disproportionate effect on expats. "
Expatriates who work abroad probably have a visa or work permit in their passports. These visas or work permits are likely to continue to be valid even if a passport is not valid, according to McKeegan.
"You are going to solve that, but it is unlikely that you will be knocked out of the census. If you are an expat, you must report yourself," McKeegan said.
Taxpayers are not included in the foreclosure measure. who have settled their debts through an IRS installment agreement, bids in consultation with the IRS or an agreement with the Justice Department, have applied for a debt collection hearing for a levy, or have suspended the recovery of the claim because they have applied for an innocent spouse relief.
Other taxpayers who are not affected by this are those who are bankrupt victims of identity theft tax-related, who have difficulties prompting the IRS Currently, the IRS is negotiating with the IRS to pay a lesser amount than what is owed and who the IRS has accepted the adjustment, which is deemed to be currently uncollectible, living in a disaster area of the federal government they have offered. Taxpayers serving in a military combat zone are also unaffected.
If you receive a letter or letter from the IRS by post, check it for errors or fraud.
"My first piece of advice would be," OK, you got the letter. Now make sure it's correct, "McKeegan said," If it's not correct, call the IRS and explain why. "
Jafri von Withers said that although several clients have legitimate alerts from the "I would not be surprised if that happened because you have a mature audience for it."
This article was originally published on July 13, 2018 and with additional reports from CNBC Associate Editor updated by Kenneth Kiesnoski .