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How to Pay Your Taxes Online to the IRS: A Step-by-Step Guide

Hello, taxpayers! Are you looking to simplify your tax payment process? Paying your taxes online is not just convenient but also incredibly secure. In this guide, we'll walk you through each step of paying your taxes to the IRS online. It's straightforward, and we're here to help!


Step 1: Gather Your Information

First things first, let's get organized. Before you start, ensure you have all the necessary information handy:

  • Your Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

  • Bank account details or credit/debit card information for payment.

  • Your current year's tax return.

  • Last year's tax return. 

Step 2: Choose Your Payment Method

The IRS provides several online payment options, tailored to meet different needs:

  • IRS Direct Pay: Perfect for direct bank transfers.

  • Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS): Ideal for businesses or larger payments.

  • Credit or Debit Card Payments: Made through IRS-approved third-party providers.

Step 3: Access the Payment System

Now, let's get to the IRS payment page. Visit IRS Payments and select the payment method that suits you best.

IRS payment landing page

Step 4: Make the Payment

Here's how to proceed based on your chosen method:


IRS Direct Pay:

  • Click on "Pay now with Direct Pay." and then "Make a Payment"

  • You should get to the following screen:

IRS Direct Pay
  • Choose the Reason for Payment (e.g., "Balance Due" for the current year balance due, “Estimated Tax” for pre-payments, or “Amended Return” for an amendment.).

  • Choose to Apply Payment To (e.g., "Income Tax - Form 1040" for current year balance due, “1040ES” for pre-payments, or “1040X” for an amendment.).

  • Select the correct tax year. 

IRS Direct Pay Screen
  • Enter your tax information and confirm your identity. 

    • NOTE - this step must be typed in exactly as your last year's tax return or you will get an error message. If your tax return uses the full word Street and you type in St, an error message will appear. 

  • Enter your payment amount and bank details. Select the email confirmation box and submit your payment.

EFTPS:

  • Register at EFTPS.gov if you haven't already.

  • Log in and follow the prompts to schedule your payment.

Credit or Debit Card:

  • Select a payment processor from the IRS-provided list.

  • Follow their instructions to complete your payment.


Step 5: Keep a Record

Once your payment is processed, you'll receive a confirmation number. Make sure to keep this with your tax return for your records.


Some Tips from CTS

  • Using IRS Direct Pay is a smart way to dodge processing fees. Credit card payments include an additional processing fee.

  • Remember, the IRS website won't tell you how much to pay. Always refer to your tax return for the exact amount due.

  • The due date is typically April 15. You can make multiple payments without penalty as long as the total balance is paid by this date. For instance, if you owe $6,000, you can make individual payments over time, penalty-free, as long as the full amount is settled by April 15. If you choose to do this, carefully track your payments to ensure you are paid in full. 

  • If you are filing a married filing joint return, make the payment under the taxpayer (first name on the tax return). This will allow the IRS to correctly assign your payment. 


There you have it! Paying your taxes online is secure, and efficient, and saves you a trip to the post office. Please let us know if you have any questions!

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