IRS will begin implementation of new procedures affecting individuals with “seriously delinquent tax debts.” These new procedures implement provisions of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, signed into law in December 2015 require the IRS to notify the State Department of taxpayers seriously delinquent tax debt. The FAST Act also requires the State Department to deny their passport application or deny renewal of their passport or to even revoke their passport.
Taxpayers with a seriously delinquent tax debt are generally those who owe the IRS more than $51,000 in back taxes, penalties and interest for which the IRS has filed a Notice of Federal Tax Lien or issued a levy.
Taxpayers can avoid having the IRS notify the State Department of their seriously delinquent tax debt by paying the tax debt in full, paying under an approved installment agreement, accepted offer in compromise or under an approved settlement with the Justice department or by having a pending collection due process appeal with levy. A passport will not be revoked after a request has been filed with the IRS for an installment agreement or if there is a pending offer in compromise with the IRS
A passport won’t be at risk under this program for any taxpayer who is in bankruptcy, or who is identified by the IRS as a victim of tax-related identity theft, or whose account the IRS has determined to be currently not collectible due to hardship or who is located within a federally declared disaster area.
IRS will postpone notifying the State Department and the individual’s passport will not be not subject to denial during the time such a delinquent taxpayer is serving in a combat zone.
Text of IRS bulletin 2018-3 – https://www.irs.gov/irb/2018-03_IRB