Tax Topic

Direct Pay

The safest way to make payments to the IRS for your personal taxes outside of employer withholdings or a payment with your Form 1040 efiling is the IRS’ Direct Pay tool. It allows you to make a payment for your 1040, 1040-ES, or IRS notice directly from your bank account to the IRS. Much safer and faster than sending a personal check. You can use the tool as often as is necessary (although only one payment in a 24 hr. period), including making your normal quarterly estimated tax payments vs. using a check with the 1040-ES payment coupon we provide to you. Instead, use the amount off the 1040-ES payment coupon to make your payment using Direct Pay.

Here is the link to reach the IRS’ Direct Pay tool: As you use this tool, pay close attention to the following:
  1. Reason for payment – most often this will be Balance Due, Extension, Estimated Tax, or CP2000/CP2501/CP3219A.
  2. Apply payment to – will generally default to the correct item based on #1.
  3. Tax period – very important that you put in the correct year to which the payment applies
Next, the tool will verify your identity using any tax year you choose (generally this is not the same year for which you are making the payment), so that it can check your filing status, name, SS#, birthdate, and address; so that it applies your payment to you.

Once the verification is complete (real time), you will enter your payment amount and bank account information. Once the payment is complete, the IRS will give you a confirmation #, which you will want to record. Very easy to just print the screen and put in your tax file so that you can give us the payment date and amount information.

Some clients tell me they don’t want the IRS to have their bank account info, but it’s all the same information the IRS would have from a paper personal check. The IRS does not hold this information for you to use the next time you use Direct Pay. Direct Pay doesn’t require a registration process – it’s just a one-off tool. There is another, more complicated and robust tool called EFTPS you can set up and use (takes a few registration steps over two weeks) if you want to have an ongoing online account with the IRS for making payments for either personal or business tax returns.

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