You’ve been hearing a lot in the past couple of years that the IRS will start revoking passports of Americans who owe taxes. Well, the process is now in full swing. The IRS has sent a list of over 280,000 Americans to the State Department to prevent their passports from being renewed – or to arrange to have their passports revoked.
Who is affected? Folks who owe the IRS $51,000 or more (including penalties and interest) in 2018 ($52,000 in 2019) – who have not made arrangements to pay their taxes.
If you owe that much or more, get your head out of the sand and get in touch with the IRS immediately to either set up an installment agreement, or an offer in compromise. If you’re really in the hole, financially, you may be able to get your balance due put on hold. BUT ONLY IF YOU COMMUNICATE.
Get on the ball right now. If you’re not already on the list, you can stay off it by getting the process started. If you owe far more than the $51,000 – pay the balance down so you’re under that threshold. If you need help, you can get help from Enrolled Agents or CPAs at NAEA and at the AICPA.
Once you’re on that list (it’s called “certified”), bringing the balance below $51,000 won’t help you. And it can take months or a year or more to get your passport reinstated.
Incidentally, if you’re reading this, and are not yet certified – and you need to travel very soon – there is help for you. The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) has promised to help. Call the local TAS offfice phone number – you will find an office on this map –
https://www.irs.gov/advocate/local-taxpayer-advocate If it’s an emergency – better yet – use the fax number. Fax them a letter with PASSPORT EMERGENCY in BIG letters at the top of the page. Give them all your contact information. They will immediately issue a Taxpayer Assistance Order (TAO), Form 911 to halt IRS certification procedures. BUT, you must be read to cooperate. You must be prepared to pay your taxes or set up an installment agreement on the spot – AND to make the payments. (The IRS computer will monitor these taxpayers – and if you don’t make the payments, you will be certified – without mercy.)
And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about taxes and business issues, free. Where? Where else? At www.TaxMama.com.
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To help you with your 2018/2019 tax planning, please join me on December 5th for a SPECIAL Tax Cuts and Jobs Act webinar to help folks who are self-employed, and folks with large employee business expenses to restructure your tax picture and cut your taxes. https://taxmama.com/asktaxmama/webinar-the-trump-tax-plan/