Update on US Passport Legislation and Regulation
March, 2019 update on US passport legislation and regulation.
The IRS has issued an advisory for US citizens to settle tax debts in light of the passport revocation provision (https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/individuals-who-need-passports-for-imminent-travel-should-contact-irs-promptly-to-resolve-tax-debt). ACA continues to highlight to the Congress the serious negative impact that the Passport Revocation legislation could have on Americans living overseas. Little consideration has been given to the fact that a US passport for an American overseas is a fundamental identification document of his or her US citizenship. Without it, travel would be seriously curtailed in a significantly more impactful way than a US domiciled citizen. Travel within the US does not require a passport, travel internationally does require a US passport. US domiciled citizens have state identification cards or drivers license that gives them a secondary identification document for travel and general identification (opening bank accounts, etc). Americans overseas cannot use these documents to prove citizenship in a foreign jurisdiction. Individuals may have their very livelihoods severely impacted due to the inability to travel and identify themselves as US citizens. Most concerning is that errors in the calculation of a tax debt, along with delays in notification of such debts, and a process involving long-distance resolution of such problems, could be much longer and costly for the Americans living and working overseas.