Do You Owe Taxes? Congress Wants to Take Your Passport!

by | Nov 20, 2015


In July, Ron Paul Institute Executive Director Daniel McAdams warned that “[b]uried inside the US highways funding bill is a provision to revoke or deny issuance of a US passport to anyone who has a large outstanding tax debt to the US Internal Revenue Service.” This provision in the Senate bill, explained McAdams, is “threatening to imprison Americans within (or outside) US borders.”

Today, in the Economic Policy Journal, Robert Wenzel provides an update that a provision much like the one about which McAdams warned appears poised to pass in Congress and then to become enforceable on January 1.

House and Senate conference committee members worked this week on putting together a final version of the funding bill — the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act (HR 22) — that would then be voted on in both houses of Congress. The conference committee can be expected to produce a bill including the passport denial and revocation provision given that such a provision was included in the bill’s versions already passed in the House and Senate. When the House and Senate pass an identical bill, that bill will be sent to President Barack Obama for approval or veto.

“The list of affected taxpayers will be compiled by the Internal Revenue Service using a threshold of $50,000 of unpaid federal taxes, including penalties and interest, which would be adjusted for inflation,” predicts Laura Saunders in the Wall Street Journal.


  • Adam Dick

    Adam worked from 2003 through 2013 as a legislative aide for Rep. Ron Paul. Previously, he was a member of the Wisconsin State Board of Elections, a co-manager of Ed Thompson's 2002 Wisconsin governor campaign, and a lawyer in New York and Connecticut.

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