The IRS has announced on its website that passport certifications to the U.S. State Department are expected to begin in January 2018. Previously, the agency reported that passport certifications would begin this year.
Background. The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act of 2015 (FAST Act) requires the Treasury Department, upon receiving certification by the IRS that an individual has a seriously delinquent tax debt, to transmit the certification to the State Department for action with respect to denial, revocation, or limitation of a passport for the individual. The FAST Act prohibits the State Department, upon receiving the certification, from issuing a passport except in emergency circumstances or for humanitarian reasons. The FAST Act also requires the State Department to revoke a passport previously issued; but allows a limited passport for return travel to the U.S.
Update. The IRS has posted and updated frequently asked questions (FAQs) about passport certification on its website. Initially, the agency reported that certification would begin in 2017. The agency did note explain why the start date has been moved to 2018.