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The IRS may be coming for your passport.

President Trump’s executive order on travel may be generating big protests, but an IRS missive on travel and passports may not go down too well either. More than a year ago, in H.R.22, Congress gave the IRS a new weapon to collect taxes. Tax code Section 7345 is labeled, “Revocation or Denial of Passport in Case of Certain Tax Delinquencies.” The law isn’t limited to criminal tax cases, or even cases where the IRS thinks you are trying to flee. The idea of the law is to use travel as a way to enforce tax collections. It was proposed and rejected in 2012. But by late 2015, Congress passed it and President Obama signed it.

Now, over a year later, the IRS has finally released new details on its website. If you have seriously delinquent tax debt, IRS can notify the State Department. The State Department generally will not issue or renew a passport after receiving certification from the IRS. The IRS has not yet started certifying tax debt to the State Department. The IRS says certifications will begin in early 2017, and the IRS website will be updated to indicate when this process has been implemented.

This has the potential to affect about 8,000,000 taxpayers at present. And anyone is subject to IRS persecution, even if they owe no taxes nor earn income. This has the potential to prevent many Americans from freely, legally leaving the country. It is a travel ban.

The law will require IRS regulations to implement, perhaps some from State as well. One wonders which existing regs they plan to cut in order to make way for the new ones.

One may also wonders when the crazed hippies and communists will take to the streets in violent protest of this real injustice. My guess would be “never”.

 

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