Los Angeles Attorneys Assisting Clients Facing Tax Penalties

The Internal Revenue Code permits the IRS to impose substantial penalties on taxpayers that do not comply with the duty to pay federal income tax. In addition to monetary penalties, the IRS can prohibit seriously delinquent taxpayers from leaving the country by revoking their passports. If you received a notice of a seriously delinquent tax debt, your passport might be in jeopardy, and you should consult an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options for fighting to retain your passport. The capable Los Angeles tax lawyers at Enterprise Consultants Group, LLC can help you determine if you have grounds to avoid or contest a revocation of your passport. We help individuals faced with IRS passport revocation throughout California and nationwide.

Grounds for IRS Passport Revocation

Recently passed amendments to the Internal Revenue Code permit the IRS to revoke a seriously delinquent taxpayer’s passport in certain circumstances. There are certain factors that must be met for a taxpayer’s debt to be deemed seriously delinquent. First, the taxpayer must owe more than a certain amount ($52,000 as of 2019) in federal tax debt. This threshold amount is defined by the Internal Revenue Code and is adjusted each year for inflation. Federal tax debt includes interest and penalties, but certain debts are not included, such as debt that is being paid through an installment plan or via an offer in compromise. Additionally, the IRS is required to file a notice of a federal tax lien, exhaust all of its administrative remedies, and issue a levy for a debt to be considered seriously delinquent.

If the IRS determines that a taxpayer has seriously delinquent tax debt, it may then certify the debt to the State Department. The IRS must also provide the taxpayer with written notice of the certification of their tax debt to the State Department. After the State Department receives certification of a debt, it can deny a taxpayer’s passport application, or it can revoke or restrict any current passport. The State Department is required to notify taxpayers in writing of any revocation of a current passport or denial of a passport application.

Certain taxpayers are protected from passport revocation. For example, taxpayers who are bankrupt or who are victims of identity theft will not have their passport revoked. Furthermore, taxpayers who are unable to pay due to hardship or who live in a federally declared disaster area are also protected from passport revocation.

Relief from IRS Passport Revocation

The easiest way to avoid a passport revocation is to address outstanding debt prior to certification of the debt to the State Department. Taxpayers have several options for avoiding a certification by the IRS to the State Department of a seriously delinquent debt. The first option is to pay the debt, either in full or through an offer in compromise or an installment agreement. Taxpayers can also come to a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice to pay the debt. Taxpayers that requested a collection due process appeal with a levy or innocent spouse relief may be able to avoid certification as well.

If the IRS has already certified the debt to the State Department, a taxpayer can file a lawsuit in federal court or in the United States Tax Court to determine whether the certification was made in error or whether the certification should have been reversed.

Consult a Knowledgeable Los Angeles Attorney Regarding Your Tax Debt

Failing to pay taxes can allow the federal government to limit your right to travel internationally by restricting or revoking your passport. The proficient tax lawyers and tax professionals at Enterprise Consultants Group, LLC are well versed in the procedures that the IRS must follow in revoking a taxpayer’s passport and the options available for avoiding or reversing a revocation. From our office in Los Angeles, we represent clients throughout the U.S. in tax matters. You can reach us at (800) 575-9284 or through our online form to set up a meeting to discuss your case.