The applicable provision in the FAST Act is entitled "Revocation or denial of passport in case of certain unpaid taxes (sec. 52101 of the Senate amendment, sec. 32102 of the House amendment, sec. 32101 of the conference agreement and secs. 6320 and 6331 and new secs. 7345 and 6103(k)(11) of the Internal Revenue Code)"
The new law adds a new Internal Revenue Code (section 7345) which authorizes the Treasury Secretary to certify, to the Secretary of State (Secretary), that a taxpayer has a "seriously delinquent tax debt'". A "seriously delinquent tax debt" is greater than USD50,000 and one for which the IRS has either filed a lien or levy. Upon receiving the certificate, the Secretary can deny, revoke, or limit the taxpayer's US passport. The notice must spell out that the taxpayer is entitled to file a lawsuit in the US Tax Court or a federal district court to challenge this certification.
All the existing remedies for addressing an IRS lien or levy continue to apply! Therefore, this new provision of denying a passport will not apply to taxpayers who have entered into installment agreements or offers-in-compromise, or who have requested collection due process hearings or innocent spouse relief.
US citizens living abroad should ensure that their IRS tax affairs are in order before December 31, 2015, in order to ensure that they do not have any issues with their US passport.
Read more at: Tax Times blog