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Additional Information on IRS Direct Pay

Why can't I select my tax year on the verify identity page? 
Direct Pay can only verify your identity with information from your past 6 years of tax returns. That means if your payment is for the current 2016 tax year (e.g. 1040ES Estimated Payment), or it is for a tax return from 2009 or before, you will need to select another year's return to verify your information. IRS recommends using your most recent return for verification.

I'm getting a message that Direct Pay cannot verify my identity, what should I do? 
Direct Pay uses information from a prior year's tax return to verify your identify. The return year you use for verification does not have to be the same as the Tax Year for Payment. Make sure that you enter your name and address as they were on your tax return for the tax year you select for verification. You may find it helpful to use your most recent return, or try using your information from a different year.

What types of returns, notices, or payment plans can I apply my Direct Pay payment to? 
You can use Direct Pay to make payments towards the following returns:

  • 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ
  • 1040ES (Estimated tax)
  • Installment Agreement
  • 1040X (Amended Return)
  • 4868 (Extension to file)
  • 5329 (Additional taxes on qualified plans)
  • 1040 Health Care payments (formerly called "Shared responsibility" payments)

Can I make a business payment with Direct Pay? 
Direct Pay is not available for business payments. You can register with the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System® (EFTPS) to make free online payments from a bank account for businesses. Visit eftps.gov for more information.

Can I use a credit or debit card with Direct Pay? 
No, Direct Pay payments are made through an ACH debit from your bank account. To pay with a credit or debit card, visit www.irs.gov/payments and select Pay by Card. Note: the card processors charge fees.

How can I find out how much I owe? 
If you received a notice or letter, it shows your due date for payment, the amount you need to pay, and instructions on what to do next. If you're an individual taxpayer who filed Form 1040, you can also go to Get Transcript and follow the instructions. However, be aware that an account transcript takes 5 to 10 days to reach you by mail.

How does the IRS verify my identity? 
We will use information from one of your prior year processed tax returns to verify your identity. In step two, you can choose one of the last six year's tax returns for identity verification (2010-2015). It does not need to be the same year as the tax year for payment.

I verified my identity last month when I used IRS Direct Pay. Do I need to verify my identity again this month? 
Yes, you will need to verify your identity each time you use IRS Direct Pay.

Does the IRS save my personal information? 
No, with Direct Pay the IRS only uses your personal information to verify your identity and apply your payment to your tax record.

I received a confirmation number for my recent payment but it was not deducted from my bank account. Was my payment actually processed? 
Your payment takes up to two business days to process, and payments submitted after 8 p.m. eastern will begin processing the next business day. Keep your confirmation number for your records.

Can I schedule a future payment? 
Yes, you can schedule a payment up to 30 days in advance.

Can I set up recurring payments using IRS Direct Pay? 
You can only submit one payment at a time using IRS Direct Pay. Alternatively, if you are making a payment against an installment agreement, consider using the Online Payment Agreement application to set up recurring payments. Be aware that interest and penalties will be charged on any unpaid balances.

I lost my Direct Pay confirmation number, can I retrieve it? 
Unfortunately, the Direct Pay application cannot currently retrieve your confirmation number once you leave the application.

What if there are insufficient funds in my account? 
If your payment is returned, you will receive a payment return notice in the mail notifying you to resubmit your payment. A penalty may be assessed, and you will receive an additional notice notifying you of the amount.

Can I make a payment using an international bank account? 
IRS Direct Pay requires a U.S. bank routing number (ABA). This nine-digit number is generally printed on checks or is available from your bank. If you have an account with an international bank that has a U.S. affiliate, the bank may be able to provide the routing number. Please note that IRS Direct Pay does not accept SWIFT codes.

Is IRS Direct Pay different from EFTPS? 
Yes. While you can use either application to make individual tax payments online, IRS Direct Pay doesn't require a registration process.

What browsers does IRS Direct Pay support? 
IRS Direct Pay is tested for optimal use with the following browser and operating system combinations: IE11 (and higher) on Windows 7, Firefox 38 (or higher), Safari 8 and 9 on iOS, and Chrome 42 (and higher) on Android 4 and 5. If you use some other combination, you can likely still use IRS Direct Pay, but if you experience issues other payment options are available.

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 12-Apr-2016