On December 4th President Obama signed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (“FAST”) into law. We focus on representing taxpayers in civil and criminal tax situations, and although we applaud the highway funding aspects of the bill, it’s the tax aspects that were shoe-horned in that bother us.
For starters, the bill requires the IRS to send old taxpayer debts out to private debt collectors – this idea failed so miserably the first time the IRS tried it why not do it again?! The bill also allows the IRS (yes, the IRS) to begin suspending taxpayer’s passports or denying renewals to taxpayers who owe seriously delinquent tax debts, defined as $50,000 or more.
What this means in practical terms is folks who have been sitting in uncollectable status now face both private debt collectors contacting them and having their passport’s revoked. We have known the IRS has integrated its system with the TECS Homeland Security system now for three years, but just last week our firm had a client pulled into a private room at Passport control and grilled about the $40,000 he owes the IRS (which he does not actually owe, but of course the IRS has lost his amended return).
Aside from the headache this is going to create, it raises concerns in an era of identity theft that the IRS will be sharing taxpayer information with private debt collectors and the high quality folks they employ. This may cost taxpayers much more than just annoying phone calls.
We would urge you to have clients who owe back taxes to the IRS deal with their issue before the official government ugliness gets underway.
You can read the tax portion of the bill here (we cut out the 1270 non-tax pages): http://gs-lawfirm.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Fast-Act.pdf
If you or your clients have any issues with tax debts or other tax civil or criminal tax problems please feel free to contact me directly at (203) 285-8545 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eric L. Green, Esq.
Green & Sklarz LLC
243 Tresser Boulevard, 17th Floor
Stamford, CT 06902
Ph. (203) 285-8545
Fax (203) 286-1311