Can the IRS Take Your Passport Away?

IRS Building in Washington, DC

The IRS is cracking down on citizens owing taxes, but should they be allowed to decide what citizens get to leave the country?

USA Today reports:

It might be wise to pay your overdue income taxes before packing for that European river cruise. A new enforcement provision passed by Congress and signed into law earlier this month allows the government to revoke the passports of seriously delinquent tax scofflaws — people who owe more than $50,000 to Uncle Sam.

“You could be on your honeymoon and they could revoke your passport,” said Tom Wheelwright, a certified public accountant and chief executive officer at ProVision Wealth Strategists in Tempe, Ariz.

… The passport-revoking provision allows the Department of the Treasury and the IRS to authorize the State Department to take away U.S. passports from individuals with seriously delinquent tax liabilities. That’s defined as those greater than $50,000 and for which the IRS has filed a lien or levy, according to Matthew D. Lee of law firm Blank Rome.

Respectfully, the individuals late on their taxes aren’t the real problem here. Wouldn’t it be great if members of Congress got their passports revoked for spending the U.S. into almost $19 trillion in debt?

Currently, U.S. taxpayers are on the hook for over $157,180 in debt each, thanks to the federal government’s spending spree. If we operated under those real numbers, nobody would be going anywhere, anytime soon.