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Topic 158 - Paying Your Taxes and Ensuring Proper Credit of Payments

If you have a balance due on your personal tax return, paying electronically is a convenient way to pay your federal taxes online, by phone, or from a mobile device. IRS electronic payment options are available on our Payments page and the IRS2Go app. The IRS uses the latest encryption technology, so paying electronically is safe and secure. When you use any of the IRS ePay options, it puts you in control of paying your tax bill and gives you peace of mind. You can schedule your payment in advance, and you'll receive confirmation after it's submitted. It's quick, easy, secure, and much faster than mailing in a check or money order.

IRS Direct Pay is a secure service that lets you pay directly from your checking or savings account at no cost to you. You can use Direct Pay to pay your current and prior year 1040 series tax returns and more. After you complete five easy steps you'll receive instant confirmation that your payment has been submitted. With Direct Pay, you can use the "Look Up a Payment" feature to view your payment status. You can modify or cancel your payment there until two business days before your scheduled payment date.

If you're filing your tax return electronically, you have the option of paying by electronic debit of your bank account using the Electronic Funds Withdrawal option. You'll need to know your account number and your financial institution's routing number. You can check with your financial institution to make sure they allow electronic withdrawals and to get the correct routing and account numbers.

For detailed information on paying your taxes by credit or debit card, Direct Pay, cash or other electronic payment methods, select the Payments tab.

Direct Pay is the recommended way to pay current and prior year 1040 series tax returns and more. However, if you decide to file and pay by mail, enclose a check or money order and Form 1040-V (PDF), Payment Voucher, with your federal tax return. Don't staple or otherwise attach your payment or Form 1040-V to your return. Instead, just put them loose in the envelope. Never send cash!

  • Make your check or money order payable to the United States Treasury, annotate on the front of your payment your correct name, address, social security number, daytime telephone number, tax year, and form number (for example - 2016 Form 1040)
  • If you're making a payment on a joint return, provide the social security number that's listed first on the return.
  • If you're making an estimated tax payment with check or money order meant for payment of the current year's federal income tax, don't mail your estimated tax payment with your tax return. You'll need to mail your estimated tax payments separately to the address shown in the Form 1040-ES (PDF), Estimated Tax for Individuals, under the section "Where to File Your Estimated Tax Payment Voucher if Paying by Check or Money Order." You can use Direct Pay to make estimated tax payments for the current calendar year and receive immediate confirmation of your payment.

Don't wait in line, pay online. However, if you decide to pay in person at an IRS office (by appointment only), keep the date-stamped receipt as part of your records.

For payment information, visit our Payments page. For additional information, refer to Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax for Individuals.

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: April 14, 2017