Monday, April 16, 2012

You Are Free To Travel—If The IRS Lets You

A bill that nobody is paying any attention to is sailing through Congress: Senate Bill 1813. It passed the Senate by 74 to 22, and is expected to sail through the House as well. It’s an act “[t]o reauthorize Federal-aid highway and highway safety construction programs, and for other purposes.”

It’s the “and for other purposes” part of the title that has me worried—specifically Section 40304: “Revocation or denial of passport in case of certain unpaid taxes.

This section would give the IRS the power to keep a U.S. citizen from traveling—

—and it’s another example of Executive Power run amok. It’s another example of how the United States is turning into a police-state.

The right to travel freely is sacrosanct—it’s not some privilege that the government bestows on us: It’s one of our basic freedoms as citizens. In point of fact, the countries that have limited their citizens’ ability to travel—the Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China, North Korea, Cuba—were all rightfully called “police-states”: It’s one of their defining characteristics—the fact that they were keeping their citizens hostage.

In the United States, there are several, clearly defined reasons why you would have your passport either denied or revoked—and all of them pass the smell test.

In the case of a passport being denied, according to the U.S. State Department, the reasons are:
“a federal warrant of arrest, a federal or state criminal court order, a condition of parole or probation forbidding departure from the United States (or the jurisdiction of the court), or a request for extradition [by a foreign country].
Additionally, failure to pay a court-ordered child-support in excess of $5,000 can also be grounds for the State Department to refuse to issue a passport to a U.S. citizen.

In the case of a passport being revoked, the law (22 CFR 51.72) says very clearly that:
A passport may be revoked or restricted or limited where:
(a) The national would not be entitled to issuance of a new passport under §51.70 or §51.71 [the above conditions]; or
(b) The passport has been obtained illegally, by fraud, or has been fraudulently altered, or has been fraudulently misused, or has been issued in error; or
(c) The Department of State is notified that a certificate of naturalization issued to the applicant for or bearer of the passport has been canceled by a federal court.
[54 FR 8532, Mar. 1, 1989, as amended at 64 FR 19714, Apr. 22, 1999]
Now, notice how both in the case of a denial or a revocation of a passport, the State Department is essentially carrying out the judgment of the courts.

An arrest warrant can only be issued by a court. A parolee is, again, limited under the aegis of a judicial order. An extradition request will only be complied if a foreign court is making the request, not a foreign law enforcement agency. A court-ordered child support payment is, again, a judicial decision.

In all of these cases, the State Department is acting on the orders of a court. It is the Judiciary that decides to restrict the freedom of movement and travel of a U.S. citizen—as is their exclusive prerogative.

According to the Constitution, the Legislature does not have the right to judge the guilt or innocence of a person, be they a citizen or not. According to the Constitution, the Executive does not have the right to judge the guilt or innocence of a person, be they a citizen or not.

According to the Constitution’s separation of powers, only the Judiciary has the right to determine guilt or innocence.

Thus, ultimately, only the Judiciary has the right to revoke or deny a citizen’s ability to travel—and only for serious crimes.

But with this Bill 1813, it will now be the IRS—without any judicial oversight—which will determine if a citizen can travel or not. Not even the IRS as an institution—just some random IRS bureaucrat, with no oversight or restraint, will be able to decide to strip you of your right to travel freely.

As written, Bill 1813 states that the IRS must find that $50,000 or more is owed by the citizen—but this is a unilateral determination by the IRS, and it includes penalties and interest. So the alleged amount that you owe could be substantially less—but you are now no longer allowed to travel.

Notice I say “alleged”: It is not that the IRS has to present proof of tax delinquency to anyone—they just have to say that you owe back taxes. No proof required, no judicial oversight or restraint.

In other words, the IRS’s word is enough—and you do not have the possibility of appeal. Who would you appeal to—a judge? There’s no judge in this case—because no judge supervises and monitors the IRS’s decision.

That’s why Madison invented the idea of checks-and-balances: To make sure that no one branch of the government acquired the power to deprive people of their life, liberty or property.

But here is Senate Bill 1813, doing precisely that.

Commentators on tax law are very surprised by this legislation. Over at the blog of R&G Brenner, a large and well-established New York tax preparation company, they wrote:
[I]f the bill is passed you could have your passport revoked merely because you owe say $60,000 and the IRS has filed a notice of lien. Bear in mind that the IRS files tax liens routinely when you owe taxes–it’s just the IRS way of putting creditors on notice so the IRS will eventually get paid… In that sense, this you-can’t-travel idea seems pretty extreme. [ellipsis in original]
So even knowledgeable people are surprised by how extreme this legislation is—

—because it is extreme. But more importantly, it is yet another example of how the Executive Branch is hollowing out the Judiciary, and taking control of all facets of justice.

We already have an Executive that has taken it upon itself to determine the guilt or innocence of an American citizen overseas—and execute him by drone strike. We already have an Executive—in the person of Attorney General Eric Holder—who has made the incredible distinction between “judicial process” and “due process”, claiming that the Executive can carry out due process without involving the Judiciary.

In other words, summary judgments. The Executive is becoming the judge, jury and executioner. Judgements by the Executive where there is no right to appeal. Judgments made not by a jury of your peers, but by a faceless bureaucrat.

This man will determine your fate.
This Senate bill 1813 will in all likelihood pass the House vote, and be signed into law by President Obama. Few people will notice it now, and when the history of this shameful period is written it will not be given much pride of place: Senate bill 1813 will simply be mentioned as one more law that was passed that turned the United States from a free Republic into a closed Police-State.
If you’re interested, check out my Strategic Planning Group, where we discuss strategies for exiting America, when the time comes.


  1. We the Sheeple of the United States, in Order to allow a more dysfunctional Union, pervert Justice, insure domestic subjugation, provide for the common pillaging of the 99%, promote the general Welfare of the banksters and elected elite, and secure the curses of debt slavery and totalitarianism of ourselves and our Posterity, willfully ignore the sacrifices of our forefathers to relinquish this Constitution of the United States of America.

    1. Did the 14th Amendment National Citizenship (U.S. Citizenship) Replace or Destroy State Citizenship, “Natural Rights, Common Law Rights, Pre-existing Rights”? Absolutely Not as per The Supreme Court’s Ruling in DC v Heller When Reconfirming “The Slaughter-House Cases”..
      the leading and controlling case on State Citizenship and United States Citizenship is the Supreme Court case, The Slaughter-House Cases (16 Wallace 36: 21 L.Ed. 394 [1873]). In this case, the Supreme Court distinguishes between State Citizenship and United States Citizenship.

      "It is quite clear, then, that there is a citizenship of the United States and a citizenship of a state, which are distinct from each other and which depend upon different characteristics of the individual." The Slaughter-House Cases: 83 U.S. 36, 74.

    2. I applied for and received an American Passport "without a Social Security #" ergo cannot be "stopped at the border" for refusing to pay a tax I (as a State Citizen..not to be confused as a U.S. citizen" do not owe.

    3. I see no big deal with this new law as one does not have the right to travel as some believe.

      For years Americans were not allowed to go to Cuba so travel rights restricted.

      If one is charged with a crime your passport is taken away, so no travel rights there and now if one refuses to pay their taxes to the Govt. you are in violation of a crime in a way and your passport is gone and as such you cannot leave the country to escape paying.

      So it's a good law and should have been done years ago. Thanks to the GOP for this new law also as without the GOP Congress this would have not passed.

    4. Fuck you Nazi!

    5. Actually you are mistaken. The right of Americans to travel was never restricted. The government can say you can't go but can't do anything to you if you do.

      Where they "get" you is with the money. It is illegal to spend any money that you have made in the US on a trip to Cuba or use US dollars to finance it.

      This is easily gotten around, even legally.

      And for the record it is a very bad law and the previous poster has you nailed I'm afraid.

  2. This points out the importance of having another passport and another place to go. Gonzalo can help you here. One fascinating possibility is the case of Zimbabwe where marriage to a local citizen entitles one to immediate citizenship. I am a permanent resident of Argentina and ready for citizenship. I owe the IRS and the state nothing. I am very careful about taxes. But I am also prepared to move to Argentina quickly if things get bad.


  3. So this rises to the level of un-American? Not letting a tax cheat leave the country is somehow bad. Did you get upset when they passed laws taking away the right to drive (which for many is the right to work) for missing child support payments?

    1. Hey idiot! No one is advocating letting tax cheats leave the country. This is about due process and the administration and congress' abrogation of their responsibilities to ensure the citizenry have it. Remember that statement-you know-when the oath of office is taken, where our representatives promise to support and defend the constitution? Yeah, that's what this is about.

    2. If you object to being forcibly deprived of the fruits of your labor, we will hold you hostage until you stop resisting!!!!!!!!!

      Of course, that is quite American. Thomas Jefferson would be proud.

    3. The IRS is run by a bunch of incompetent morons. I am still fighting them over their error in which they mistakenly claimed I owned them. I proved them wrong and they admit it. 2 years later I am still waiting for two years worth of tax refunds that they withheld. They claim "they are working on it". You want these people controlling your abitlity to travel? Wake up!!!

    4. Did you even read the article? Please tell me you're not this stupid.

  4. This bill is proclaiming that there is no escape allowed from the constantly increasing taxes, which is the government's way of saying you have no choice but to stand and fight.

    And, of course, if the government is so silly as to keep citizens who know the 16tth Amendment wasn't actually ratified inside the borders, we'll just go on teaching our friends and neighbors that history. Realizing that the US Government did lie about Saddam's nuclear weapons, people are more accepting of the reality that the US Government lied to us to loot our wallets for the privately-owned Federal Reserve banks.

  5. There is only one way to put a stop to this Tyrany. That's the county Sheriff who is the only Law enforcement officer elected by the citizens.
    Learn More At

  6. The Jewnited States Of AmeriKKa just getting better and better. Now all of you are Palestinians.

  7. A Banksters defeatism nightmare, Being forced to Return to Real Money=United States Note=Lawful Money. The real reason you pay an income tax, is for the privilege of using a private currency. Also known As A: Federal Reserve Note, Demand from your bank or brokerage, lawful money and the tax goes away, with a tax exemption on lawful money, all of your money is yours. Use the Remedy within the Federal Reserve Act. Stop being a Slave!!!!!!
    Tax Exemption: Web search these four different phrases: Redeemed in Lawful Money or United States Note or Redeemed in Lawful Money Pursuant to Title 12 USC §411 or deposited for credit on account or exchanged for non-negotiable federal reserve notes of face value

  8. Hi,

    Well, it seems to be just one thing after another in the States. And every true believer in something or other thinks she has the answer. But the answer is, there is no answer. Decline into death is simply a condition of life – for both Peoples and Fatherlands. It's what happens - and it's what is happening to America right now.

    And I believe history offers a fair suggestion that, generally, once decline sets in cultures are simply incapable of reversing the process. All attempts at reform, whether from the so called Right or the so called Left, seem only to accelerate the rate of decline. This is because any “reform” the culture is actually capable of enacting necessarily must originate out of the very substance and processes of the decadent culture itself. Think about that for a moment.

    Here are five random American problems: (1) Health care costs as a percent of GDP (Not! as a percent of government expenditures), (2) costs of imperial over stretch, (3) declining educational-cultural standards, (4) rising levels of elite and everyday corruption, (5) rising levels of government control and oppression (IE, today's GL post).

    Sen. Sanders - of Vermont naturally - would solve problem One with a single payer medicare for all system but it has zero chance of passing. Ron Paul might solve problems Two and Five but he's been rejected by the Repubs and progressives have been denounced for thinking even a single positive thought about him.

    There simply is no reform possible in America.

    Now, what program or policy does either Barry or Mitt offer that will not make each problem worse? And Barry and Mitt represent at least 90% of American voting behavior.

    Both of them will likely engage in or be swept into a war with Iran. America - and the rest of us - will be lucky if this doesn't happen. Both will increase military spending while neglecting the troops - see recent NYT article on military suicides. Neither will reform Wall Street, both will continue the downward trend in education with NCLB, and/or try the reform “fix” of for profit corporate schools. Really, how do you think that's going to work out in a society plagued by corporate corruption? And yes, Libertarians need to get a life and stop talking about how so much more efficient the private sector is. Lets talk about how efficient Wall Street is. Wall Street and the American government are both part of the same culture. They're two aspects of the same reality.

    The government goes after every dime it can get it's hands on from ordinary Americans. Oh, but America really had to have that free trade agreement with Panama, whose only industry is unregulated off shore banking.

    Meanwhile, if you want to leave. Pay up. Tragically, in the future there may be a lot of people who wish they had.



    1. Syria too. It is being demonized daily by the USA and the U.N. chief. Syria is to go the way of Libya and Iraq. Iran too, if the Zionists and Big Oil gets their way.

    2. You can leave anytime you want...we don't care! You just can't take your hard earned money with you!

  9. You say that the State Dept is following "Court" directives therefore the IRS does not have legal standing in this law. You seem to forget that the IRS has their OWN courts. Don't believe me, don't pay your taxes and see what court you get sent to. They have their own judges and prosecutors. You do not get your Miranda rights read to you and you do not get free legal representation. You are GUILTY until you prove yourself innocent, and then the judge controls what you are allowed to bring in as evidence and you cannot have a copy of the law presented as evidence. The judge will determine what the law says, and you can believe that it is nowhere near what is covered in Black's Law Dictionary. Enjoy your New and Improved Socialist country, after all YOU elected this Communist (Capital C), not me.

  10. Thank goodness we have the ACLU. Hopefully, this will be challenged in the Supreme Court and a decent decision will be made (although it takes years for this procedure). But then too, maybe the Court will go along with the usurpation of their power. I've already left the U.S. and live overseas, but that doesn't mean I don't care. I care a lot.

  11. I looks like there is no escape from the taxes.

  12. Instead of just talking about it, go to to help get the Constitution BACK!
    It is a site about a genuine court case meant to end the socialism, by upholding the Constitution - IN COURT!
    Support this worthy cause if you have any REAL desire for American Freedom.
    This Bill of Attainder will be challenged as well in that agency challenge in Federal Court. The court NEEDS TO KNOW THAT PEOPLE ARE WATCHING IT.
    You ARE NEEDED to uphold the Constitution.

  13. Old retread news

    BTW R&G Brenner has a very very bad reputation. Five Tax Preparers Arrested For Allegedly Falsifying Tax Returns ... and secure a larger tax return; and they also used fake dependents on other returns. ... Two tax preparers at R&G .....

  14. I am not surprised that there are those that agree with this new legislation. There is a horrifying amount of Fascist/socialists and communists who inhabit the US that are in agreement with any new law that is a continuation of the loss of our liberty's. Don't worry, the country will become a shell of its former self very soon. The entire country will look like Detroit does now. Then maybe we will get some reform.

  15. Just be a happy tax slave and shut the **ck up. ;)

    1. Fuck you and you dumb ass stupidity you are the sheeple that is letting this happen,you should wake up and see that you are one of the sheeple who don't care where this country goes you should shoot yourself you must not be an American who cares that you kids will be paying for you stupid remark

  16. So, Tim Geitner and Warren Buffet can't travel any more?

  17. This US Citizen/Dual passport holder waves to everyone from neutral Switzerland. :P

    Yeah, I'm alright Jack. :P
    Why is it that also the anglo-speaking countries are getting so wierd lately? The others are actually worse than the US. Take a look at the UK if you really want to see the future of the US.

    Sun Tzu said that you will become what your enemies were. Choose your enemies wisely for that is what you will become. The US fought the Cold War with totalitarian regimes for multiple decades. The former Soviet Union is now becoming more free and Amerika is fast becoming a Police State worse than the USSR ever was.

    They fail to see the hypocracy of Bush talking about freedom while foisting CALEA, Patriot Act I, and Patriot Act 2, on the Amerikans. Then Obama speaks of law while foisting NDAA2012 on US.

    Heinlein had it correct: People generally get the sort of government that they DESERVE. Unfortunately, the rest of us have to live with the consequences. Don't forget that the country that tolerated McCarthy is that same one that we are discussing now. FYI, McCarthy was a Republican Senator at a time when Democrats had unquestionable control of both legistaive branches and the Presidency. McCarthy may have been a scum-bag but the Democrats had to enable him. The term "Republicrats" comes to mind. They are really two sides of the same corrupt party.

  18. What if IRS makes a "mistake" as it so often does and then demands back taxes plus interest that are justifiably not owed at all because of one of their famous organizational glitches? Are you then held in a prison called the US of A? Land of the free... ha! Let's stop kidding ourselves. I think the people in the so-called repressive regimes of the world are more free than all of us living in Amerika. We are just living in an ignorant state of bliss under the massive illusion that we are free.

    1. IRS does not make mistakes.

  19. The prudent foresee the evil and hide, but the simple/foolish pass on and are punished. The Founding Fathers chose to 'hide' from being burned at the stake by creating this great country. We don't know how many Jews in the 1930's left Germany to 'hide' from the internment camps/gas chambers or in this century the Kurds, Sudanese, Egyptians, Syrians, Libyans, etc. But where can American Christian's go to 'hide' from escalating evil?
    The USA already has nearly-sovereign nations inside its borders. They have their courts (except for capital crimes), make their own laws, including what drugs can be ingested. They issue their own Driver Licenses & car license plates and their citizens pay NO income tax! The precedent is already established by the Indian Nations, so why can't Christians form 'Religious Reservations'? Let's 'come out from among them and Be Separate 2 Cor 6:17 Read how at

  20. Thomas Jefferson Said,
    A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate.

    A government afraid of its citizens is a Democracy. Citizens afraid of government is tyranny!

    A little rebellion now and then is a good thing and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.

    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.

    Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

    Educate and inform the whole mass of the people...they are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.

    Experience has shown, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.

    Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have. The course of history shows us that as a government grows, liberty decreases.

    Governments constantly choose between telling lies and fighting wars, with the end result always being the same. One will always lead to the other.

    I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.

    I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us that the less we use our power the greater it will be.

    I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.

    In matters of style, swim with the current; In matters of principle, stand like a rock.

    Now it is easy to see that Thomas Jefferson one of the authors of the Declaration of Independence would have opposed the attached amendment in senate 1813 giving new power to the IRS to revoke and suspend passports. This bill 1813 has already passed the senate, it is very important that you contact your representatives to oppose senate bill 1813 and request that the amendment giving new power to the IRS to revoke and suspend passports removed. It is very easy to contact your representatives by email, here is the link.

  21. if i can't leave i'm going to load my ak and go postal

  22. Sounds like the groundwork for capital controls.

  23. Why is the IRS getting ever more draconian? Because the government needs money and the IRS is charged with getting money.

    Does the government need so much money as to be this draconian? Do I need to answer this question?

  24. The USA is not "becoming" a police state. The USA has become a police state.

  25. As a US citizen living in Canada, I have been informed that I must file an income tax return showing all of my world wide income from any source. The only income that I have from the U.S. is Social Security payments. I must report to The IRS all of my investments,bank balances,pensions even if none of that money was earned in the U.S. They want these things reported for the last six years as well and it must be accounted for by a certified accountant on my behalf. Cost of this wouuld be approximately $1200/year.
    If I do not report then I am subject to fines of $10,000 per form and I guess there are several forms to fill out.
    I can be denied entry into the U.S. because as soon as they swipe my passport at the border the agent will be informed that did not report my income tax forms. I still havefamily in the U.S. but I am seriously thinking of never returning. I have never taken out Canadian citizenship but I will if this bill passes. I am not trying to evade U.S. taxes, I am evading an unjust law.

  26. Actually, as a practical matter what would happen is that you would find out you were ineligible to travel due to a restricted passport, and to have the restrictions/revocation lifted, you would probably have to file a pro-forma objection which would of course be immediately denied, at which point you could go to the US District Court and file suit, asking for temporary relief in the meantime with restoration of your passport. But in doing so, IRS can say, Wait a sec, you've got money to hire a lawyer and fight this, but not to pay us? They will ask as a condition of you getting your passport back that you put up a bond (but preferably cash) in the amount you supposedly owe them, and then they'll drop the passport restriction-- simples, huh? Eventually, they hope, you will just give up and pay what they say you owe.

  27. The IRS isn't the only entity stopping people at international borders.

    "The Interior Ministry has announced that it will close the borders between Spain and France, due to serious fears of public order and domestic security issues, to coincide with the European Central Bank summit in Barcelona....All land borders will be closed to free flow and there will be increased security checks at Girona and Barcelona airports."

    K Smith

  28. This provision was insidiously inserted by Sen. Barbara Boxhead, and the passage of the entire bill shows how one measly, scummy Senator can just insert a provision completely unrelated to the main subject of the bill, and fit it sneakily into a popular bill that no Senator will take care to actually READ!

    The solution is that the entire mechanism of highway funding should be removed from federal oversight. Since all the work on highways is done under the planning of individual state departments of transportation, the entire funding mechanism should be at the state level. This would properly require the elimination of the federal gasoline tax. Each state should have the full control of the funding for highway projects within their state. Along the way, this would also eliminate some states from being donors, and others from being takers.

  29. While I agree that this new restriction by senator Diocletian is offensive, I can state from personal experience that the protections afforded by the courts to those of ordinary means is largely a fiction. This is merely another turn of the screw. Being stranded abroad without a passport is annoying, but it serves as a wakeup call that perhaps I don't really want to be associated with a country that has abandoned virtually everything good that it once stood for.

  30. Executive Power run amuck? no this is Legislative Power run amuck. Geez, there is a difference, you know!

  31. You missed one. If you are divorced, and lose your job, and your alimony arrears exceed $5,000 (not hard to do) they will automatically prevent passport renewals, and may revoke the thing. Because, you know, can't let the slaves escape.

  32. Our children have been mortgaged into slavery by our cowardice. Men whose honor died in the jungle, whose sons were sent to plunder the riches of the Ottoman can hardly cry for justice now. Our day darkens, the dark people will drown us in their blood.

  33. Interesting about the timing of this bill pushed forward by the corrupt ones in the senate. I personally know of 7 people of "owe" upwards of over 20-30K from taxes back in 2007-2008. 80 percent of this sum is actually "penalties", which figure about 70 percent compound interest, which is usury in an extreme form.

    So, in effect, "owing" 60K, can actually be the result of a few thousand dollars, enough to supply a few hours worth of fuel to some failed mission in Afghanistan, or drone activations.

    Amerikka is the only country that taxes based on citzenship not residency, so for those living abroad the yearly filing process is cumbersome.

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