On March 8, 2012, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Levin-Conrad amendment to the highway reauthorization bill. The amendment includes provisions to:
- Stop foreign governments and financial institutions from significantly impeding US tax enforcement.
- Revoke the passports of “seriously” delinquent” taxpayers.
It now goes to the House for a vote.
The amendment, sponsored by Senators Carl Levin (D-MI), Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), grants the U.S. Treasury Department “a discretionary tool to stop off-shore tax havens and their financial institutions that ‘impede U.S. tax enforcement’ from transacting business in the United States.” The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates the provision would raise $900 million in government revenue over ten years.
Revoking Delinquent Taxpayers’ Passports
The amendment would also give the State Department the right to deny, limit or revoke passports of “seriously delinquent” U.S. taxpayer’s. “Seriously delinquent” is defined as in excess of $50,000. Exemptions may be provided for taxpayers who are in the process of repaying the IRS or are awaiting a collection due process hearing.
Financial services lobby concerned about tax-evasion proposal, On The Money, THE HILL’S Finance and Money Blog, by Bernie Becker