IRS & New Haven, CT: Looming Tax Debt’s Effect on International Travel

Education & Training with Tax Rep LLC

I focus my practice on civil and criminal tax representation.  We represent taxpayers in New Haven, Connecticut, New York and elsewhere.  As the IRS recently reminded taxpayers, significant tax debt may jeopardize your passport or your ability to acquire one.

The IRS certifies taxpayers with the United States Department of State as having a “seriously delinquent tax debt” if they owe at least $52,000 (including interest and penalties). The State Department is required by law to deny passport applications or renewals to taxpayers with this certification. Furthermore, the IRS may ask the State Department to revoke a taxpayer’s passport.

The goal of the passport program for the IRS is to force taxpayers to come in and deal with their tax issue.  Taxpayers can avoid the passport denial/revocation is they are meeting one of four criteria:

  •        In an installment agreement to repay the tax debt;
  •        Have an innocent spouse claim pending;
  •        Have an Offer-in-Compromise pending; or
  •        Have a Collection Due Process hearing pending.

Notice of passport revocation or denial of passport application is sent by mail from the State Department. A passport revocation is reversed once the taxpayer meets one of the criterial listed above, which means they contact the IRS and work on a resolution to their case. 

            Once the taxpayer contacts the IRS to send payment or to set up an alternate resolution, the process can begin for them to request a de-certification to the State Department.  Taxpayers are being warned by the IRS that they can expect up to a 30-day delay between the debt’s resolution and their certification’s reversal. However, an expedited process is available with the proper documentation. If the taxpayer can provide documentation showing scheduled travel within the next 45 days or proving a residence abroad, the IRS can usually cut the 30-day processing time in half. Therefore, taxpayers with imminent travel plans need to promptly call the IRS upon receiving notice from the State. All applications for passports or passport renewals are kept on file for 90 days. Like all other tax-debt problems, a passport dilemma can be mitigated with prompt action. 

            If you need assistance with a passport issue or any other tax issue please feel free to contact me directly at (203) 285-8545 opr by email at


Eric L. Green

Green & Sklarz LLC

700 State Street, Suite 100

New Haven, CT 06511

Ph. (203) 285-8545

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