General Instructions

Purpose of Form

Use Form 720 and attachments to report your liability by IRS No. and pay the excise taxes listed on the form. If you report a liability on Part I or Part II, you may be eligible to use Schedule C to claim a credit.

Who Must File

See Patient-centered outcomes research fee (IRS No. 133) in Part II for special rules about who must file to report the patient-centered outcomes research fee.

You must file Form 720 if:

  • You were liable for, or responsible for collecting, any of the federal excise taxes listed on Form 720, Parts I and II, for a prior quarter and you have not filed a final return; or

  • You are liable for, or responsible for collecting, any of the federal excise taxes listed on Form 720, Parts I and II, for the current quarter.

See How To File for more information.

When To File

You must file a return for each quarter of the calendar year as follows:

Quarter covered Due by
Jan., Feb., Mar. April 30
Apr., May, June July 31
July, Aug., Sept. October 31
Oct., Nov., Dec. January 31

If any due date for filing a return falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, you may file the return on the next business day.

Send your return to the IRS using the U.S. Postal Service or a designated private delivery service to meet the “timely mailing as timely filing/paying” rule. See Private Delivery Services, later.

Floor stocks tax.   Report the floor stocks tax on ozone-depleting chemicals (ODCs), IRS No. 20, on the return due by July 31 of each year. The tax payment is due by June 30. See Floor Stocks Tax, later.

Where To File

Send Form 720 to:

Department of the Treasury 
Internal Revenue Service  
Cincinnati, OH 45999-0009

How To File

If you are not reporting a tax that you normally report, enter a zero on the appropriate line on Form 720, Part I or II. Also, if you have no tax to report, write “None” on Form 720, Part III, line 3; sign and date the return. If you file the second quarter Form 720 only to report the patient-centered outcomes research fee, no filing is required in other quarters unless you have to report other fees or taxes.

If you have adjustments to liabilities reported for prior quarters, see Form 720X, Amended Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return. Do not enter adjustments on Form 720.

If you attach additional sheets, write your name and EIN on each sheet.

Final Return

File a final return if you have been filing Form 720 and you:

  1. Go out of business, or

  2. Will not owe excise taxes that are reportable on Form 720 in future quarters.

If you are only filing to report zero tax and you will not owe excise tax in future quarters, check the final return box above Part I of Form 720.


Keep copies of your tax return, records, and accounts of all transactions to show that the correct tax has been paid. Keep records to support all claims and all exemptions at least 4 years from the latest of the date:

  • The tax became due,

  • You paid the tax, or

  • You filed a claim.

Penalties and Interest

If you receive a notice about a penalty after you file this return, reply to the notice with an explanation and we will determine if you meet reasonable-cause criteria. Do not include an explanation when you file your return.

Trust fund recovery penalty.   If communications, air transportation, and indoor tanning services taxes are collected but not paid to the United States Treasury or are willfully not collected, the trust fund recovery penalty may apply. The penalty is the full amount of the unpaid tax.

  The trust fund recovery penalty may be imposed on all persons who are determined by the IRS to be responsible for collecting, accounting for, and paying over these taxes, and who acted willfully in not doing so.

  A responsible person can be an officer or employee of a corporation, a partner or employee of a partnership, an employee of a sole proprietorship, an accountant, or a volunteer director/trustee. A responsible person may also include one who signs checks for the business or otherwise has authority to cause the spending of business funds.

  Willfully means voluntarily, consciously, and intentionally. A responsible person acts willfully if he or she knows the required actions are not taking place.

Additional Information

You may find the following products helpful when preparing Form 720 and any attachments.

You may also call the business and specialty tax line at 1-800-829-4933 with your excise tax questions. The hours of operation are Monday – Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. local time.

Private Delivery Services

You can use the following private delivery services designated by the IRS to meet the “timely mailing as timely filing/paying” rule for tax returns and payments.

  • Federal Express (FedEx): FedEx First Overnight, FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx 2 Day, FedEx International Next Flight Out, FedEx International Priority, FedEx International First, FedEx International Economy; and

  • United Parcel Service (UPS): UPS Next Day Air Early AM, UPS Next Day Air, UPS Next Day Air Saver, UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air A.M., UPS Worldwide Express Plus, and UPS Worldwide Express.

The private delivery service can tell you how to get written proof of the mailing date.

For the IRS mailing address to use if you are using a private delivery service, go to and enter “private delivery service” in the search box.

Private delivery services cannot deliver items to P.O. boxes. You must use the U.S. Postal Service to mail any item to an IRS P.O. box address.

Photographs of Missing Children

The IRS is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in instructions on pages that would otherwise be blank. You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child.

More Online Instructions