Congress has passed highway-funding legislation that includes two tax provisions that would allow the State Department to revoke the passports of long-term tax delinquents who owe more than $50,000 in tax debts and revive a program requiring the IRS to hire private debt collection agencies.
The House and the Senate passed differing versions of the highway funding bill last month containing the provisions despite warnings from an expatriate group known as American Citizens Abroad and the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents IRS employees (see Expats Worried over Passports Being Revoked for Tax Debts and Highway Bill Would Revive Private Collection of Tax Debts). The Senate and the House both passed the conference committee’s bill Thursday by a vote of 83 to 16 in the Senate and 359 to 65 in the House. It was signed into law Friday by President Obama, providing five years of funding for highways and other transportation infrastructure. The two provisions were included as “pay-fors” or “offsets” under the assumption that they would raise extra revenue for infrastructure spending.
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