Owing the IRS Can Prevent You from Getting or Renewing Your Passport

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We all want to take a vacation sometimes in our lives. We can fantasize about walking on a sandy beach in the Caribbean or on the Great Wall in China. How amazing that would be. Well, it is possible but not if you owe the IRS. Owing the IRS can prevent you from getting a new passport or renewing an expired one.

The IRS & A Passport

The IRS has the authority to prevent you from getting a passport if you owe taxes. The amount varies due to inflation. For example, if you owe $50k or more, your application will get revoked. Even though the $50k is set and due to rise, in 2020 the threshold would be $52k or higher.

After the IRS has exhausted all options for you to pay your debt, delinquent severe tax debt is placed on your record. The information is then passed on to the State Department. As one of the options that will deny a passport application, your application is now on hold until you arrange to resolve it.

Notice CP508C

The IRS will inform you via mail with Notice CP508C. The notice is sent out for you to choose an option to start resolving the problem.

Notice CP508C will provide the steps to resolve the debt. After paying in full or agree to a payment plan, the IRS will reverse the decision within 30 days. If you fail to respond, your passport application will continue to be denied. If you currently have a valid passport, it will have limited use. You will not be allowed to leave the country.

Resolving Your IRS Debt

You will have the opportunity to revolve your tax debt before the IRS informs the State Department. To prevent the IRS from notifying the State, you can:

  • Pay the debt in full
  • Agree to pay in installments upon approval
  • Pay off the debt under a settlement with the Department of Justice (DOJ)
  • Having a request or a pending collection levy appeal; or
  • Suspending the collection after requesting an innocent spouse election or innocent spouse relief

You can visit the IRS website to get more information about paying the debt.

Applying for a New or Passport Renewal

After resolving your tax debt, you can start the process to get a passport for the first time or renew an expired one. For first-time applicants, complete Form DS-11, provide your supporting documents, and pay the cost. You must apply in person at any acceptance facility.

To renew an expired passport, complete Form DS-82 then submit it with your supporting documents and the fee. You can apply by mail or in person.

To replace a lost or stolen passport, complete Form DS-64, and DS-11. When you apply, provide the forms, supporting documents, and fees. You can apply in person or by mail.