A reader forwarded an essay by Joe Nagel from an offshore ex-pat newsletter which I will quote in brief. Its another brick in the ever increasing police state we find this country becoming...
Recently, the United States Senate passed a piece of legislation called the "Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act." Essentially, this is a transportation bill. The main focus is on the construction of roads and bridges.
Title III of the act is a revenue provision concerning gas-guzzling cars, leaking underground storage tanks, import duties, and a number of other fees, taxes, and revenue enhancements.
Section 40304 is a rather bizarre provision that doesn't seem to fit in a transportation bill and that is buried so deep that few senators have probably even read far enough to get to it. (The piece of legislation overall is 1,676 pages long.)
Section 40304 is titled "Revocation or Denial of Passport in Case of Certain Tax Delinquencies." What?
The provision specifically amends the 1926 Passport Act to permit the IRS simply to "certify" to the Secretary of State that an individual "has a seriously delinquent tax debt in an amount in excess of US$50,000."
The law does not require that any hearing be held or that any administrative due process of any kind be carried out. In fact, the only requirement is that the IRS gives what is called a "Notice of Levy" to the taxpayer.
This is nothing more than the IRS's own determination that the taxpayer owes US$50,000. And, remember, while US$50,000 may sound like a lot of money, that threshold can easily be reached and exceeded by the accumulation of much smaller amounts plus penalties and interest.
The real issue is this: Do we, as Americans, want unelected IRS agents to be in a position, without judicial oversight, of unilaterally deciding whether or not we can travel?
Given that even minor IRS matters can take years to resolve and that no effective oversight or accountability of an agent exists, it is a very scary scenario to imagine the IRS being in the position to be able to determine whether or not a U.S. citizen is able to travel.