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Bill placing taxpayer’ passports at stake going to the President

We just wrote about a proposed Congressional bill allowing for the IRS to limit, revoke or deny a passport to individuals owing more than $50,000 in tax debt. Known as the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act or the FAST Act, this is a part of a five year, $305 billion spending measure to fund a number of federal transportation projects.

We barely had time to publish our post before the U.S. House and Senate overwhelmingly voted to pass this measure. President Obama has since signed the bill into law. The federal government thus is seeking a way to fund this transportation bill other than through raising the gas tax.

The federal government now apparently hopes individuals, who the IRS claims owe delinquent taxes, can at least partially fund this bill. This bill puts a taxpayer’s passport at stake and possibly forcing taxpayers to pay back taxes.

As we mentioned in our earlier post, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act would allow for the IRS to limit, revoke or deny a passport in the event an individual owes “seriously delinquent tax debt” of more than $50,000. This new law will create at least some additional hardship for many individuals already strapped with tax debt. The IRS already has many tools at its disposal to collect tax debt. This includes the garnishing of wages, placing liens upon property, and charging interest and penalizing to taxpayers for late payments.

However, a taxpayer can avoid passport revocation by entering into an installment agreement. But as this process can easily take six months or more it’s important to get in touch with a tax attorney and begin such a process as soon as possible.

Most individuals do not understand what rights they have when negotiating with the IRS. Experienced tax lawyers, on the other hand, negotiate with the IRS on a regular basis. And while it may be difficult to contest claims regarding back taxes, lawyers can negotiate with state and federal tax authorities in at least seeking a compromise. Tax lawyers can also advise clients concerning their legal options.

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