Can the IRS Take my Passport?

Can the Internal Revenue Service really impact my ability to travel?  If you owe taxes to the Internal Revenue Service, especially “seriously delinquent tax debts” the answer is yes, the IRS can impact your travel plans by impacting your passport as discussed below.

In January of 2018, the Internal Revenue Service announced it will implement new procedures that could impact an individuals ability to obtain or maintain a passport.  The IRS stated these new procedures will impact those individuals that have “seriously delinquent tax debts.”  Under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, the IRS is required to notify the State Department of certain taxpayers owing seriously delinquent tax debts.  The FAST Act also requires the denial of passport applications, renewals of passports and in some cases even the revocation of an individual’s passport.

So what constitutes a seriously delinquent tax debt?  Generally, the IRS has defined a seriously delinquent tax debt as someone who has a tax debt to the IRS of more than $51,000.  The $51,000 threshold would include tax, penalty and interest for periods whereby the IRS has filed a Notice of Federal Tax Lien or issued a levy, and the taxpayer can no longer properly challenge the lien or levy action.

If you are taxpayer with a seriously delinquent debt to the IRS, you can likely avoid the IRS contacting the State Department by taking the following action(s).


  • Pay the debt in full;
  • Paying a settlement amount through a tax settlement or offer in compromise with the IRS;
  • Paying the tax debt under a formal installment agreement with the IRS;
  • Paying the tax debt through a formal settlement with the Department of Justice;
  • Suspending collection action by the IRS through an innocent spouse claim; or
  • Requesting a Collection Due Process Hearing with a levy.


A taxpayer under the following situations should not be at risk for having their passport rights impacted.


  • The taxpayer has filed and is in bankruptcy;
  • Is an identity theft victim;
  • The taxpayer’s account has been determined non-collectible by the IRS;
  • The taxpayer is located in a federally declared disaster area;
  • The taxpayer has a pending installment agreement with the IRS;
  • The taxpayer has a pending offer in compromise with the IRS; or,
  • The taxpayer has an adjustment that with satisfy the IRS debt in full.


In short, to prevent any passport issues if you owe taxes to the IRS, if the tax debt is being addressed, your likelihood of having  a passport application denied or a passport revoked is severely lessened.

The above article has been prepared by John McGuire of The McGuire Law Firm.  John is a tax attorney and business attorney and can be reached through

Please remember this article is for informational purposes only and you should consult directly with your tax attorney regarding any tax matters or questions.

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Taxpayer Bill of Rights

As a tax attorney it is important to know and understand a taxpayer’s rights before the Internal Revenue Service, and I feel it is important for a taxpayer to know and understand their rights as well.  It is exciting and interesting to hear that the Internal Revenue Service has recently adopted a Taxpayer Bill of Rights.  This bill of rights will act as the document to provide taxpayer’s with an understanding of their rights.  The taxpayer’s bill of rights will use the existing rights that are stated in the Internal Revenue Code and place them into ten broad categories.  The IRS hopes that the grouping and organization of the categories will assist taxpayers in finding and understanding their tax rights.

The IRS has always stated a taxpayer’s rights in Publication 1, which is called “Your Rights as a Taxpayer.  This IRS Publication has now been updated with the ten rights and now the publication will be forwarded to taxpayers when they receive their IRS notices for issues such as tax audits, tax debts and/or IRS collection action.

The IRS commissioner feels that the Taxpayer Bill of Rights “contains fundamental information to help taxpayers” and such a bill of rights has been a goal of Nina Olson of the National Taxpayer Advocate, and was stated as one of Ms. Olson’s top priorities in the Taxpayer Advocate’s most recent report to Congress.

The ten provisions of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights are:

1. The Right to Be Informed

2. The Right to Quality Servive

3. The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax

4. The Right to Challenge the IRS’ Position and Be Heard

5. The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum

6. The Right to Finality

7. The Right to Privacy

8. The Right to Confidentiality

9. The Right to Retain Representation

10. The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System

The IRS have planned the timing of updating Publication 1 very well given the peak time for issuing IRS notices and correspondence, especially from 2013 tax returns is now.  Publication 1 will also be stated and available and Spanish and other languages in the near future.

Taxpayers can also read the Taxpayer Bill of Rights on the IRS website, which is  A special section will provide the 10 rights.  It is very important for every taxpayer to know and understand their rights, and the IRS website can be a useful tool for many matters.

If you have questions regarding your rights as a taxpayer, a tax attorney at The McGuire Law Firm can assist you with your understanding of such rights, and enforcing these rights before the IRS.  A tax attorney can represent you before the IRS to resolve disputes and other matters.  You can contact The McGuire Law Firm to speak with an attorney today!

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What is a Collection Due Process Hearing?

A collection due process hearing is a hearing afforded to taxpayers with certain issues before the IRS.  This hearing may help in resolving a tax matter such as a tax debt, and provides due process to the taxpayer.  The video below has prepared by a Denver tax attorney at The McGuire Law Firm to provide information regarding a Collection Due Process Hearing with an IRS appeals officer.


You may contact The McGuire Law Firm to schedule a free consultation with a Denver tax attorney to discuss your tax questions, issues and matters, including IRS related problems.  The McGuire Law Firm has law offices in Denver and Golden Colorado.

Article by Denver Tax Attorney on IRS Equivalent Hearing

If you have ever received final notice of intent to levy from the Internal Revenue Service (also called Letter 1058) you may have notices that you haveDenver Tax Attorney Denver Tax Lawyer IRS Tax Attorney the right to a hearing.  Generally, there are two options regarding your request for a hearing.  If you make the request for a hearing within 30 days from the final notice of intent to levy, you can be afforded a collection due process hearing.  If you do not make the request within 30 days from the final notice of intent to levy, you lose your rights to a collection due process hearing, but may request an equivalent hearing.  The article below has been drafted by a Denver tax attorney to discuss what an equivalent hearing is and how this hearing can be beneficial to taxpayers that are attempting to resolve tax debts or other tax disputes with the Internal Revenue Service.

As an example, say you receive a final notice of intent to levy from the IRS on June 15th.  The 30 day time period to request a collection due process hearing would expire on July 15th.  Thus, lets assume you did not request a collection due process hearing by July 15th, but still need to resolve your IRS issues.  Your option is to contact the IRS agent you are working with, automated collections, request an equivalent hearing or do nothing.  You can request an equivalent hearing by completing Form 12153 and submitting the form to the IRS service center whereby you received the notice that allowed you to request the hearing.  Form 12153 will request your contact information, the periods at issues, the type of hearing you are requesting, why you are requesting the hearing and what collection alternative you feel could be used to resolve the IRS debt.  Requesting an equivalent hearing does not act as an automatic hold on IRS collection action like a collection due process hearing does.  Further, you are not always afforded judicial review rights after requesting an equivalent hearing.  However, the good news is, the collection statute continues to run once you have filed for an equivalent hearing, which it does not with a collection due process hearing, and although the IRS can enforce collection prior to the hearing, as a tax attorney, rarely have I seen the IRS enforce collection leading up to an equivalent hearing.

After filing the equivalent hearing requesting (Form 12153) you will receive a notice from the IRS appeals office that the request has been received.  Thereafter, generally 3-6 months in the future, a hearing date will be called with an IRS appeals officer.  Generally, the IRS appeals officer will request information and such information will be used in analyzing your collection alternative such as an installment agreement or offer in compromise.  For example, if you were an individual, you would likely submit Form 433A, the necessary attachments and your proposal to resolve the issues/debt.

During the hearing you will discuss the collection action taken by the IRS and your proposed resolution.  You may need to provide more documents or information depending upon the circumstances.  Eventually, the appeals officer will make a determination and issue the determination in writing to you.  Hopefully, the determination is the agreement or position you proposed!

You can discuss your tax matters with a Denver tax attorney by contacting The McGuire Law Firm.  The McGuire Law Firm can assist you in resolving IRS debts, audits and disputes as well as other tax questions and issues.  An experienced tax attorney can be very beneficial when dealing with the IRS.  Thus, if you have any question about your matter or issue before the IRS, it is recommended you speak with a tax attorney or tax professional.  Most will offer a free consultation, so what do you have to lose!

Schedule a free consultation with a Denver tax attorney at The McGuire Law Firm! 720-833-7705.