Archive for February 3rd, 2017

American tax avoiders could lose passport and face travel ban

American tax avoiders could lose passport and face travel ban

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says that under the so-called FAST Act it will start certifying tax debt to the State Department, which may then refuse to issue or renew a taxpayer’s passport.

The FAST Act (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act) was passed by the Congress and signed into law by President Obama in 2015. The purpose is to provide long-term funding for transportation projects, including new highways. It also included an important provision allowing the State Department to revoke the passports of delinquent taxpayers.

According to the IRS, certifications of the taxpayers’ information will begin in early 2017. It will update its web page to indicate when the process has been implemented.

“Upon receiving certification, the State Department may revoke your passport. If the department decides to revoke it, prior to revocation, the department may limit your passport to return travel to the US,” the IRS statement said.

Under US law a “seriously delinquent” tax debt is defined as “an unpaid, legally enforceable federal tax liability” of more than $50,000, including interest and penalties. The $50,000 limit will be adjusted each year for inflation and cost of living. The limit is not per year but cumulative meaning that it’s the total tax debt that matters.

If a person is seriously delinquent under the new law, the IRS is required to notify him or her in writing at the time that it certifies the debt to the State Department. The latter will then hold the passport application or renewal for 90 days to allow for resolving any errors, make full payment, or enter into a satisfactory payment plan.

“There is no grace period for resolving your debt before the State Department revokes an existing passport,” said the IRS.

To get off the list, one should prove that the debt is fully satisfied, is legally unenforceable or is not a seriously delinquent tax debt under the statute.

Having one’s passport revoked potentially limits more than just international travel. In some of America’s states, if a driver’s license doesn’t meet set standards they won’t be accepted by airlines for domestic flights after January 22, 2018.

Moreover, starting from October 2020, every air traveler in the US will need an ID-compliant license or another acceptable form of identification, such as a passport, for domestic flights.



‘Surreal moment’: 7yo finds bank robber’s stash in South Carolina

‘Surreal moment’: 7yo finds bank robber’s stash in South Carolina

A seven-year-old boy made an amazing discovery after uncovering a bag full of cash in a South Carolina gas station bin that could help catch an elusive serial bank robber.

Griffin Steele and his father were on their way to a toy store when they stopped at a gas station in Horry County. As they walked toward the store, Griffin found a $20 note with red dye on it on the ground.

“He handed the twenty to me and it didn’t look quite right,” Shane told MyHorryNews. “It was red and just didn’t feel right so I had the clerk check to see if it was real. She said it was okay.”

It was only when Griffin was putting rubbish in one of the station’s bins that he then noticed “a ton of money.”

“I’d never seen that much money before,” he said. “And it was all covered in red stuff.”

Shane called the police as soon as Griffin told him about the cash. “It was a surreal moment,” he said. “That will probably never happen again in my lifetime, finding that much money.”

The police told them the money came from one of two recent local bank robberies at Conway National Bank and TD Bank that took place within a week of each other. Police also received a call about money with red dye found on Glenns Bay Road earlier that day.

Brian Wilson Humphreys Jr is the suspect in both robberies and remains on the run. According to police reports, a dye pack detonated inside the bag of money after Humphreys fled the scene of the TD Bank robbery.