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Published:   |   Last Updated: April 15, 2024

TAS Tax Tip: Paying the IRS


Paying the IRS

Taxes should be paid as you earn or receive income during the year. The IRS offers a variety of ways for you to do so. Some of the ways to pay include:

  • Tax Withholding – For employees, withholding is the amount of federal income tax withheld from your paycheck. The amount your employer withholds depends on how much you earn and the information you give your employer on Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate. For help with your withholding, use the IRS’s Tax Withholding Estimator.
  • Estimated Taxes – If you are self-employed or work in the gig economy, you may need to pay estimated taxes throughout the year.
  • Using your online account – Create and/or sign into your individual IRS online account to pay and see your payment history. You can also:
    • View the amount you owe, including a breakdown by tax year;
    • View some notices;
    • View 5 years of payment history, including your estimated tax payments (if any);
    • View any pending or scheduled payments;
    • Learn about payment plan options and apply for a new payment plan; and
    • View details of your payment plan (if you have one).
  • Downloading the IRS2Go app on your phone or mobile device – The IRS2Go app can help you find IRS tools and resources faster. You can get easy access to mobile-friendly payment options, and the app is available in both English and Spanish for Android and iOS mobile devices.
  • Paying directly from your bank account – When looking into how to pay individual taxes without any added fees, Direct Pay is one option. With Direct Pay you can make a payment directly from your savings or checking account with no registration required and receive instant confirmation when the payment is made. You can schedule payments up to a year in advance and change or cancel a payment up to two business days before the scheduled payment date.
  • Submitting business payments or scheduling estimated payments with Electronic Federal Tax Payment System – The Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) is a free system for businesses, tax professionals and individuals to make secure federal tax payments. You must be enrolled to use the EFTPS. It can take up to five days to process your enrollment, so plan ahead. Visit EFTPS or call EFTPS Customer Service to request an enrollment form:

With EFTPS, you can schedule payments 24/7, up to a year in advance, and you’ll receive an immediate confirmation upon payment. You can easily change or cancel scheduled payments and view the last 15 months of payment history.

  • By debit card, credit card or digital wallet – This option is available for individuals and businesses. The IRS uses third party payment processors for payments by debit or credit card. You can pay online, over the phone, or using a digital wallet, such as PayPal or Click to Pay. The IRS doesn’t charge a fee for this service, but the payment processors do. Visit the IRS pay your taxes by debit or credit card to choose the payment processor that offers you the best fees for your card type and payment amount. Keep in mind there’s a maximum number of card payments allowed based on your tax type and payment type.

Note: Employers’ federal tax deposits cannot be paid by debit or credit card; see how to pay employment taxes.

  • Other ways you can pay
    • Same-Day Wire — Bank fees may apply.
    • Check or Money Order — Through U.S. mail; with or without your return.
    • Cash — The easiest way to pay is electronically; however, you can pay with cash. Please review the requirements before doing so.
    • Electronic Funds Withdrawal — When e-filing your return, you can schedule your payment for a designated date of withdrawal.

Need more time to pay?

To limit the amount of interest and penalties the IRS may charge you, it’s in your best interest to pay your tax debt as soon as possible.

However, if you currently can’t pay your taxes in full, the IRS offers a number of payment options. Depending on the type of tax you owe, and how much, different options are available, ranging from short term extensions, to installment agreements, to an offer in compromise. Each option has different requirements and fees, so please review each one carefully. Depending on your economic circumstances, you may qualify to be placed in Currently Not Collectible status.

For more updates from the Taxpayer Advocate Service, visit the news and information center to read the latest tax tips, blogs, alerts and more. Our tax tips are also available in Spanish.

TAS Resources

IRS Resources