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New US law puts US passports at risk for delinquent taxpayers

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Several people have brought to our attention that President Obama signed new legislation earlier this month that affects US citizens and their passports. These conversations suggested that it is important to get the word out, but they were reluctant to do so themselves because they do not want to be identified. This is a surrogate posting on their behalf.

In summary, it is our understanding that effective 1 January 2016, US tax authorities apparently can, without notice or right of appeal, cancel the passports of US citizens who are on a special interest list, whatever that might mean. The suggestion is that those owing $50K or more in taxes are on that special interest list. Your name being on that list means you are at risk while traveling internationally of not having a valid passport.

It is our further understanding that someone traveling on a US passport that has been cancelled can (will be?) held when going through a routine passport control point (e.g., at an airport) for turnover to US authorities (to me that sounds like "will be arrested" anywhere in the world). And given that there is no advance notice of a passport being cancelled, the situation can become known with a surprise and become very awkward, potentially with devastating implications.

i post this only for information. I am NOT a tax authority. Nor am I a tax protester. Just trying to help get the word out. It is my understanding that the 400+ pages of new legislation is part of a transportation bill known as H.R. 22. I suspect others on this website are far more knowledgeable than me.

Can anyone clarify or amplify what is posted here? Wish to comment?

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Easy fix.  Pay your taxes.  To be doubly safe when traveling, carry a copy of your last year's tax return.

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47 minutes ago, JudyS said:

Easy fix.  Pay your taxes.  To be doubly safe when traveling, carry a copy of your last year's tax return.

Two very fine suggestions, Judy.

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Apparently something similar to this has been effect in Canada for a long time. I have a Canadian friend who has lived in Panama for about 16 years. He needs a valid passport in order to get a Panamanian work permit -- for which he is qualified. When he went to renew his passport he found out that Canada wouldn't do it because he owed back child support from many years ago. Now it's a catch 22 -- he can't get a job without a work permit and he certainly can't make payments on the child support without a job. He doesn't even care about traveling outside of Panama, he just needs the work permit. Bad situation.

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24 minutes ago, Penny said:

Apparently something similar to this has been effect in Canada for a long time. I have a Canadian friend who has lived in Panama for about 16 years. He needs a valid passport in order to get a Panamanian work permit -- for which he is qualified. When he went to renew his passport he found out that Canada wouldn't do it because he owed back child support from many years ago. Now it's a catch 22 -- he can't get a job without a work permit and he certainly can't make payments on the child support without a job. He doesn't even care about traveling outside of Panama, he just needs the work permit. Bad situation.

Deadbeat Dads are frowned upon everywhere.

Your friend is technically 'indocumentado' and could actually be locked up by Panamanian Immigration for deportation.

If he holds a Pensionado or other tourist visa that also became invalid as soon as the Passport expired.

Deportation's probably not going to happen because no one will want to pay for the flight.

 

Edited by Keith Woolford

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2 hours ago, Keith Woolford said:

Deadbeat Dads are frowned upon everywhere.

Your friend is technically 'indocumentado' and could actually be locked up by Panamanian Immigration for deportation.

If he holds a Pensionado or other tourist visa that also became invalid as soon as the Passport expired.

Deportation's probably not going to happen because no one will want to pay for the flight.

 

Keith, maybe a deadbeat has resources; just doesn't want to pay what he owes. In that case the US could add the cost of the flight back to the states to his unpaid total. This situation could go from bad to very bad for a deadbeat.

I have to wonder what was the deadbeat's original thinking or reason for his behavior.

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20 hours ago, Marcelyn said:

Two very fine suggestions, Judy.

And to be triple safe, include a copy of your cancelled check showing payment to the IRS. 

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Yeiks.....I think I'll stay put  right here on my veranda looking at the sun slide behind Baru .   Hey my taxes are paid and I have nothing to fear.  So why do I feel creepy?

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