by Brian Mahany
The U.S. General Accounting Office has recommended that the IRS and State Department start working together. The report recommends that Congress authorize the IRS to disclose names of tax delinquents to the State Department and that they be denied passports or the ability to leave the U.S.
According to a GAO survey, 224,000 passport holders owe back taxes. The study was not able to determine how many additional passport holders simply failed to file returns or underreported their income.
In light of America’s war on terror, many deficiencies have come to light in America’s own passport system. The number of wanted felons and people who have obtained passports with false identities is quite high. While the U.S. may need to curtail some of the abuses in the passport system, having Homeland Security and TSA enforce our tax laws is not the solution.
Presently, the IRS and State Department cannot share data. If the GAO has its way, that may change. The present Congress is probably not ready to agree to such a change but that remains the author’s opinion.
What is certain is that Uncle Sam continues at a record pace to rein in delinquent taxpayers. Many people still play the “audit lottery” wondering if they will be caught. More and more players now simply wonder how long until they get caught.
If you owe delinquent taxes, have unreported income, unreported offshore accounts or other tax compliance issues, call us. All calls are confidential. We help individuals and businesses all over the U.S. come into compliance and avoid criminal prosecution. Often we can reduce stiff civil penalties as well.
Taxpayers with unreported offshore accounts are urged to contact us immediately – the IRS has an amnesty program (offshore voluntary disclosure initiative) which runs until August 31st but time is running out. Unlike prior programs, all paperwork, amended returns and payments or payment plan arrangements must be complete by that date.
Mahany & Ertl, LLC – Tax, Asset Recovery, Fraud & White Collar Criminal Lawyers. Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Detroit, Michigan & Portland, Maine. Services nationwide.