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Thursday, January 26, 2012

REPORTING OF TAX INFORMATION WITH YOUR PASSPORT APPLICATION

Passports are not under the purview of the IRS, and generally do not involve tax administration issues. However, since 1986, U.S. passport applicants have to report certain information when they make their application. Code §6039E.

Proposed Regulations on what must be reported were issued in 1992, but never finalized. Treasury has now issued new proposed Regulations. Under these, the items to be reported are:

(1) the applicant's full name and, if applicable, previous name;

(2) address of regular or principal place of residence within the country of residence and, if different, mailing address;

(3) taxpayer identifying number (TIN); and

(4) date of birth.

Not a burdensome filing, but an additional filing for taxpayers to deal with, nonetheless. The changes from the 1992 proposed Regulations are minor.

Code §6039E also requires reporting for individuals applying for lawful permanent resident status (green card). The items to be reported are more broad. Haowever, while the 1992 proposed Regulations included these items, the new proposed Regulation does not address such applicants.

Most people think the income tax is all about tax. What often goes unrealized is that the income tax provides legal justification for the gathering of reams of data on taxpayers, including marital status, business and investment activities, and asset holding that might otherwise be beyond the interest of government.

Proposed Treas. Regs. §301.6039E-1

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