Baucus, Grassley say linking tax collection, passports needs 'careful study'

“People who don’t pay the taxes they owe put a significant strain on programs we count on like Medicare and Social Security, so every proposal to improve tax compliance deserves evaluation,” Baucus said in a statement. "Taxpayers have a right to privacy, and that’s something we need to protect, so we need to carefully weigh each idea of how to improve tax compliance.”

“It’s disturbing to see jet-setting gamblers and Ponzi schemers getting U.S. passports when they owe millions of dollars in taxes. At the same time, there’s a longstanding precedent of taxpayer privacy and freedom to travel that Congress would need to study carefully before changing,” said Grassley, who is also a member of the Finance Committee.