Bad news, person who is seriously delinquent on payment of many tens of thousands of dollars in debt to the IRS: the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 says you might not be able to take that epic vacation to faraway lands for a while, reports the Washington Post.

Tucked away in Section 32101 of House Resolution 22, expected to become law next month, is an amendment to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 that says, well:

If the Secretary receives certification by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue that any individual has a seriously delinquent tax debt in an amount in excess of $50,000, the Secretary shall transmit such certification to the Secretary of State for action with respect to denial, revocation, or limitation of a passport pursuant to section 52102(d) of the Transportation Funding Act of 2015.

By “seriously delinquent,” they mean, well:

For purposes of this section, the term ‘seriously delinquent tax debt’ means an outstanding debt under this title for which a notice of lien has been filed in public records pursuant to section 6323 or a notice of levy has been filed pursuant to section 6331

I can sense your eyes glazing over. Here’s the idea: the House Ways and Means committee and the Senate Finance committee figure people who are massively in debt to the federal government will find a way to come up with the money if suddenly their ability to take a trip to Cancún is withheld. This sudden, prompted search through the couch cushions will make the government richer than hell, guys:

Estimates from the Joint Committee on taxation project the move could raise $398 million over 10 years.

I’ve gotta tell you, I had no idea delinquent American taxpayers were willing to have liens imposed upon their property just to avoid paying money they actually have lying around. Maybe it’s all earmarked for a trip to Tuscany? Huh.

[Washington Post]

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