The IRS' Electronic Federal Tax Payment System

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What is EFTPS®?

EFTPS® stands for the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, which is an online tax payment system operated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the United States. The website enables both businesses and individuals to make tax payments directly from their bank accounts using a secure payment system. Learn more about EFTPS® here.


Services Available with EFTPS®

Several services are available on the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System for individuals and businesses in the United States.

Services include:

  • Schedule payments
  • Payment instructions up to one year in advance
  • Direct deposit from a bank account
  • The system is free to users and available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week

How to Use the EFTPS® Website

Below is a list of important instructions and things you should be aware of when using the EFTPS® service:

  • Create an account by completing the enrollment process.
  • Enrolling can take up to a week (information must be sent by physical mail and requires banking information).
  • The final confirmation of enrollment requires entering a PIN that arrives in the mail.
  • For payments to be received by the IRS on time, EFTPS® payments must be scheduled by 8:00 p.m. EST at least one calendar day before the due date.
  • On the selected payment date, the funds will be deposited to the US Treasury directly from your bank account and the IRS will be notified.

Security and Privacy Information

It is important to note that, according to the EFTPS® website, the IRS doesn’t gain access to the users’ EFTPS® accounts. The system can’t be used to confiscate assets if the IRS believes taxes are owed. The system does not allow the government to reach into your account and take your personal or business funds.

It is also important to note that tax payments are still due on time, regardless of whether the website is out of service or unavailable for any reason. In the event the website is not functioning, you can make a tax payment via telephone by calling 1-800-555-3453 and following the voice prompts to make a payment.

EFTPS® Identity Verification

The IRS online payment system is very secure and, in order to confirm your identity, it requires three different pieces of information:

  1. Social security number (SSN) or employer identification number (EIN)
  2. A personal identification number (PIN)
  3. An Internet password or PIN

Option to Select for Tax Period

The tax period you must select is the year and/or quarter of your tax obligation to the IRS. For example, Forms 720 and 941 require the tax period to be either in Q1, Q2, Q3, or Q4 of the calendar year. Therefore, for a payment due in May, you would select Q2 because May is part of the second quarter. After entering the quarter, you then need to enter a four-digit number for the year (e.g., 2018). If the form you are completing doesn’t require a month or quarter, just enter the four-digit year number.

How to Cancel a Payment

In order to cancel a payment, it must be at least two or more business days before the scheduled date of the payment. If it is two or more days away, then click on “Payments” and then click “Cancel a Tax Payment” and follow the instructions on the page.

How Much Do I Owe and When Is My Payment Due?

EFTPS® is a tax payment service. You’ll need to know the amount, tax form, and date when you schedule a payment. To calculate a payment or due date, or to determine the appropriate tax form, please visit the IRS website or a tax professional.

Risks of Using the EFTPS® Website

One of the risks of using the online service is being subjected to scams where fake emails are sent to EFTPS® users requesting them to log in and update their personal tax information. The scams then trick users into installing malware (a virus) on their computer, which could allow the hackers to access users’ bank accounts.

It’s important to note that the IRS will NOT email or send any form of electronic messages to users of EFTPS® requesting them to update or change personal or financial information. They will never send you an email asking for passwords, PINs, or credit card and bank account information. If users receive an email from someone claiming to be the IRS or EFTPS®, they should not download any attachment and should forward the e-mail to [email protected].

Tax Advice Notice

This EFTPS® guide was created for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon in any way for tax or financial advice. Always consult a professional advisor before making any financial or tax decisions.

Additional Resources

Thank you for reading this guide on how to use the EFTPS® website to pay your taxes online. CFI is the official provider of the Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)TM certification. To advance your career, these CFI resources will be very useful:

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