Whenever you apply for a passport, you are required to provide your social security number, which is then forwarded to the Department of the Treasury. Does that mean that the government will withhold your new passport if you owe the IRS money?
Perhaps, but it’s not likely. The IRS can keep you from getting your passport, but they only use this power in extraordinary circumstances-like if you owe so much in back taxes that the IRS is garnishing your wages, or if you’ve been charged with a criminal offense for tax evasion. For example, actor Wesley Snipes had his passport pulled after he violated his parole while waiting to appeal his conviction for tax evasion (see this post on Don’t Mess With Taxes For Details). If he applied for a new one, he would most likely get turned down.
So, yes, if you owe the IRS you might have problems getting a new passport-but usually, if you’re in that much trouble with them, you already know you have problems. If you have any questions about your tax status before you apply for a new passport, you should contact the IRS.
Applying for a new passport can be time-consuming and a little confusing. If you need to get a new passport quickly, consider using a private passport expediting company to submit your application. You’ll get personal service and assistance from passport professionals, as well as a much faster turnaround time than you would if you submitted your form directly to the government.
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