New Bill Aims to Strip Delinquent Taxpayers of Their Passports.
(Dive Travel Business News - April 11, 2012) -- Observers are questioning the potential effect of a recently passed U.S. Senate bill that has a provision to authorize the "denial, revocation or limitation of a passport" for individuals with a seriously delinquent tax debt. The new piece of governance has caused further confusion since it is buried on page 1147 of a bill designed to reauthorize federal aid for the nation's highways.
Sponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and passed on March 14, 2012, S.1813 states that a traveler does not have to be found guilty of tax evasion, however, if the government has placed a lien on the individual, the bill authorizes for the "denial, revocation or limitation of a passport" for anyone with a "seriously delinquent tax debt in an amount in excess of US$50,000".
What restricting international travel has to do with funding American highways in unclear, however some recognize the rationale for having such a piece of legislation. "If someone owes a lot of money to the government and they're carrying a government instrument that says they're free to go, they might not come back," said Paul Ruden, ASTA's senior vice president for legal and industry affairs.
At this point, the passport confiscation provision is only a proposal. Undoubtedly, the Senate bill will not pass as is in the House of Representatives, where Republican majority has a markedly different view to funding and regulations.
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