3 Ways IRS Can Prevent You From Traveling

Did you pay your taxes on time? A million-dollar question often causes discomfort or at least brings a dose of seriousness to the conversation.

We all know that paying taxes is important. As the crucial part of every country’s economy and functionality, in reality, paying taxes means fueling up the national funds that are then being used for making better living conditions for all of its citizens.

Whether it’s about social welfare packages, different programs or simply new roads, it’s something that every country and its institutions rely on. Still, such a fundamental element in society is a burden on people’s shoulders and is oftentimes being postponed, until the first problems occur.

Only when people face some personal problems or complications, they get to think about the issue. One of them is indeed limiting and it has a lot to do with freedom. Freedom to travel.

What does the IRS do?

We all know that the IRS stands for Internal Revenue Service. We also know that we don’t love this organization that much. Or should we say, we dislike it? It’s a part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury with its primary job that consists of collecting taxes. But it’s not the only thing they’re in charge of. They are tremendously helping the government by collecting the right amount of revenue for funding everything the country needs.

Other than that, they are processing tax returns, enforcing tax laws (we bet you are definitely not a fan of this) and last but not the least — they assist individuals and businesses in understanding and paying their obligatory taxes. The whole reason why this organization exists is to help comply with the laws, and make people meet all their tax responsibilities. This way, the country is able to function normally, providing all the social categories with equal solutions and opportunities for a good quality of life. Or this is their mission, at least. One thing is sure – without it, the whole country would hardly be able to function, since the government services depend on us, the citizens, and we depend on the government services. The IRS is like a medium between the two parties.

But how powerful is this organization and what is within its jurisdiction? Its job is to collect taxes. This means that they can seize your assets whether those are bank accounts, retirement incomes, or your properties – no matter if it’s a car, a boat or real estate. Selling them, they get to satisfy the debt, making sure your tax is being paid. But among all the things they can do, they can also deny your passport if your tax debt is too big. Let’s dig into this.

No paid taxes, no traveling

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Owing a certain amount of money is definitely a scary thing. If you have a huge bill, you shouldn’t ignore it or postpone thinking about it. The reasons behind this are numerous but the thing is — you might get an unpleasant surprise when you least expect it. That’s the case with tax debt and traveling. Well, not every tax debt. Not so long ago, the IRS finally made it clear in which cases you can have problems when traveling. That’s the case with more serious tax debts, the ones that are often called seriously delinquent taxes. If you owe more than $50,000, then they will notify the State Department and you can expect to face a series of consequences, which includes denying your passport application, not allowing you to renew your old one, or simply not allowing you to leave the country. The reason for this is quite logical – they are trying to make you pay the debt. If you pay the tax in full or make another agreement with the IRS, which includes participating in some of the relief programs they offer, you will get off the certification list and you will be able to live normally, which of course, includes traveling.

Can they take your passport?

The IRS is not physically taking away your passport, but simply put, it’s putting you on a “no passport” list until you pay off the tax debt. This way they are making sure you will not leave the country with a serious tax violation behind. If you receive the levy from the IRS, you can expect problems at the airport. Sometimes, people are not aware of the fact that they owe taxes, or they don’t know the exact amount, which is why it’s important to consult with an attorney or an agency, to be able to understand and manage your taxes, determine if you’re qualified for certain reliefs etc. When choosing the right place for help, it’s essential to find a reputable source of information such as Optima Tax Relief. It is the leading nationwide tax resolution firm helping people solve their IRS tax problems, no matter the seriousness of the tax debt.

Does this include all the categories of people?

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Although people dislike the IRS, this is still an organization that’s been formed in a way that protects certain categories of people, making it fair for everyone. This is the case with people who fall under certain inevitable circumstances which prevent them from paying their tax debts. These people can both own a valid passport and travel, since they are in a special regime.

This includes people who have declared bankruptcy, people who have installment agreements with the IRS, people who are proven victims of identity theft as well as people who live in federally declared disaster areas or combat zones or are on active duty in the military. Why is this important to mention? It’s important for people to understand that there are certain rules they need to obey, but that it doesn’t mean that they will be discriminated against by the law, if there’s a real reason behind the debt.

Finally, if your debt isn’t considered as seriously delinquent, which means that it’s under $50,000, you have nothing to worry about. Or at least nothing, when it comes to traveling abroad.

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