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International Travel Plans Could Be Interrupted By The IRS

Imagine if you planned a trip to Europe, got to the airport and were told upon presenting your passport that you could not leave the country.

In the times we are living in, you might expect not to be able to get back into the country if you are among those poor souls targeted in the U.S. travel ban. But, American citizens not being able to get out of the country is a whole other ballgame. It’s one the IRS has started in order to motivate people who don’t pay their taxes to pay up. And, I’ve dramatized it a bit. You wouldn’t be able to get or renew your passport.

According to an article posted at, “As many as 362,000 Americans fall under the category of those with outstanding debt for whom the State Department should deny passport applications or renewals.” The article continues saying that, “For now, agency officials stressed that they are just denying applications for new or renewed passports, and were not revoking passports from any Americans with outstanding debt.”

The law that went into effect in 2015 seems to be paying off.

So far, according to the Wall Street Journal, “As of late June, 220 people had handed over $11.5 million to pay their debts in full, and 1,400 others had signed installment agreements, according to an IRS spokesman.”

The IRS has made exceptions for victims of identity theft, those claiming ‘innocent-spouse’ relief, and those who live in a federally declared disaster zone. If you’re planning a summer vacation out of the country, make sure your taxes are paid. Oh, yes, that applies only if you owe the IRS more than $51,000.


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