According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), as of the end of fiscal year 2010, the balance of reported unpaid federal taxes was about $330 billion. Given the many challenges that IRS faces, the enforcement of the tax laws and the tax code is on GAO’s list of high-risk areas.
State issued passports to about 16 million individuals during fiscal year 2008; of these, over 224,000 individuals (over 1 percent) owed over $5.8 billion in unpaid federal taxes as of September 30, 2008. State is not authorized to restrict the issuance of passports to individuals because they owe federal taxes.
If Congress is interested in pursuing a policy of linking federal tax debt collection to passport issuance, it may consider taking steps to enable State to screen and prevent individuals who owe federal taxes from receiving passports. This could include asking State and IRS to jointly study policy and practical issues and develop options with appropriate criteria and privacy safeguards.
Forbes: 2016 Brings IRS Power Over Passports, Use Of Private Debt CollectorsRead the full report