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The IRS Can Now Revoke Your Passport, but You May Need It for Domestic Air Travel Next Year

Passport revocation will affect only taxpayers who owe the IRS more than $50,000, including fees and interest.   (Image: bryansblog via Compfight cc)
Passport revocation will affect only taxpayers who owe the IRS more than $50,000, including fees and interest. (Image: bryansblog via Compfight cc)

The IRS has been given the power to order the revocation of passports of taxpayers with seriously delinquent tax debt.

This new power was signed into law with the passing of the five-year federal spending bill this month. It falls under section 32101 of the FAST Act, also known as “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act.”

Passport revocation will affect only taxpayers who owe the IRS more than $50,000, including fees and interest. The IRS must have filed a lien against the taxpayer before it can issue an order to have a passport revoked through the Department of State.

The provision reads:

Passports required for domestic travel?

The Transport Safety Authority (TSA) may require passports for domestic flights in 2016 as the Real ID Act takes effect, because state-issued driver’s licenses will not meet the Act’s security requirements.

Implementation of the 2005 law has been delayed time and time again. Real ID was pushed in part after an investigation into the 9/11 terror attacks found that four of the 19 hijackers used state-issued IDs to board the planes.

Some states that have made efforts to come into compliance with the law have been given an extension to later in 2016, while several states’ extensions will expire on January 10. Federal agencies can accept state issued IDs from New York and Louisiana, for example, until October 10, 2016.

But, states and U.S. territories like California, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, Alaska, Washington, South Carolina, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam’s extensions will expire January 10.

People with state IDs that are not compliant with the rules may also find that they are unable to enter federal facilities, such as military bases.

Restrictions on domestic travel with certain state IDs will take affect only after at least 120 days’ notice. Here is a map with the current status of extensions for each state.

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