Taxpayers have a variety of options to consider when paying federal taxes. This year, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the filing deadline and tax payment due date was postponed from April 15 to July 15, 2020. All payment options are available at IRS.gov/payments.
US Tax Consultants reminds all clients filing Form 1040 returns that we have already file for them the Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return (PDF), in the month of June to obtain the automatic extension to Oct. 15. The extension provides additional time to file the tax return – it is not an extension to pay any taxes due.
Individual Taxpayers can use Direct Pay for two payments each day. Direct Pay allows taxpayers to pay online directly from a checking or savings account for free, and to schedule payments up to 365 days in advance. They will receive an email confirmation of their payments.
Additional electronic payment options
- Taxpayers can choose to pay with a credit card, debit card or digital wallet option through a payment processor. Processing fees apply. No part of the card service fee goes to the IRS.
- The IRS2Go app provides mobile-friendly payment options, including Direct Pay and Payment Provider payments on mobile devices
Paying by check, money order or cashier’s check
- 2019 Tax Liability – If paying a 2019 income tax liability without an accompanying 2019 tax return, taxpayers paying by check, money order or cashier’s check should include Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher with the payment. Mail the payment to the correct address. by state or by form. Do not send cash through the mail. Indicate on the check memo line that this is a 2019 income tax payment.
- For those paying when filing their 2019 income tax return, do not staple or paperclip the payment to the return. For more information, go to Pay by Check or Money Order on IRS.gov.
- 2020 Estimated Tax Payments – Taxpayers making their 2020 estimated tax payment by check, money order or cashier’s check should include the appropriate Form 1040-ES payment voucher. Indicate on the check memo line that this is a 2020 estimated tax payment.
Payment options for those who cannot pay in full
For taxpayers who cannot pay in full, the IRS encourages them to pay what they can and consider a variety of payment options available for the remaining balance. Act as quickly as possible. Tax bills accumulate more interest and fees the longer they remain unpaid.
Most taxpayers have the following payment options
- Online Payment Agreement – These are available for individuals who owe $50,000 or less in combined income tax, penalties and interest and businesses that owe $25,000 or less in combined payroll tax, penalties and interest and have filed all tax returns. Most taxpayers qualify for this option, and an Online Payment Agreement can usually be set up in a matter of minutes on IRS.gov/opa. Online Payment Agreements are available Monday – Friday, 6 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.; Saturday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 6 p.m. to midnight. All times are Eastern time. Certain fees may apply.
- Installment Agreement – Taxpayers who do not qualify to use the online payment agreement option, or choose not to use it, can also apply for a payment plan by phone, or by mail by submitting Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request. Installment agreements paid by direct deposit from a bank account or a payroll deduction will help taxpayers avoid default on their agreements. It also reduces the burden of mailing payments and saves postage costs. Certain fees may apply.
- Temporarily Delaying Collection – Taxpayers can contact the IRS to request a temporary delay of the collection process. If the IRS determines a taxpayer is unable to pay, it may delay collection until the taxpayer’s financial condition improves. Penalties and interest continue to accrue until the full amount is paid.
- Offer in Compromise – Certain taxpayers qualify to settle their tax bill for less than the amount they owe by submitting an offer in compromise. To help determine eligibility, use the Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier tool.
Though interest and late-payment penalties continue to accrue on any unpaid taxes after July 15, the failure to pay tax penalty rate is cut in half while an installment agreement is in effect. The usual penalty rate of 0.5% per month is reduced to 0.25%. For the calendar quarter beginning July 1, 2020, the interest rate for underpayment is 3%.
In addition, taxpayers can consider other options for payment, including getting a loan to pay the amount due. In many cases, loan costs may be lower than the combination of interest and penalties the IRS must charge under federal law.
Reviewing federal tax information online
Individual taxpayers can go to IRS.gov/account to securely access information about their federal tax account. They can view the amount they owe, access their tax records online, review their payment history and view key tax return information for the most recent tax return as originally filed.
The IRS urges taxpayers to take advantage of the many tools and other resources available on IRS.gov, especially with extremely limited phone services and face-to-face service due to COVID 19