You May Not Be Able To Renew Your Passport If You Owe Too Much In Taxes

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Written by Ann Brown
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Photo by Nicole Harrington on Unsplash

If you owe the Internal Revenue Service more than $52,000 in back taxes, you might not be able to get your passport renewed, which would restrict your travel. This is especially true if you don’t have an approved payment plan, according to the IRS.

While it was in 2105 that President Barack Obama signed a bill that requires the IRS to report this large debt to the U.S. State Department, it wasn’t until last year that IRS says it started implementing these new procedures for people who have “seriously delinquent tax debts.”

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“The State Department could then restrict access to passports or hold pending applications. Those at risk must pay the back taxes, penalties and interest or make payment arrangements with the IRS. Once a taxpayer meets their obligations, the government has 30 days to green-light the passport,” ABC News reported.

The IRS can expedite the passport renewal process for people who meet the criteria and have immediate travel plans or live abroad. There are also  a few exceptions to these new international travel restrictions. According to the IRS, taxpayers who are in bankruptcy, who have been victims of tax fraud, or are victims of natural disasters are not at risk of getting reported to the State Department.


About Ann Brown

Ann Brown has been a freelance writer for more than two decades. Her work has appeared in CocoaFab, Black Enterprise, Essence, MadameNoire.com, New York Trend, Upscale, Moguldom, AFKInsider, The Network Journal, Playboy, Africa Strictly Business, For Harriet, Pathfinders, Black Meetings & Tourism, Frequent Flier, Girl, Honey, Source Sports, The Source, Black Radio Exclusive, and Launch. She studied journalism at New York University and has her B.A. Born in New York, Ann lived in Praia, Cabo Verde, for nearly a decade. She created “An American In Cabo Verde,” a Facebook community.