A. Ten Things You Should Know About Making Federal Tax Payments
(Issue Number: IRS Tax Tip 2011-67 / Published on 04.05.2011)
Are you making a payment with your federal tax return this year? If so, here are 10 important things the IRS wants you to know about making tax payments correctly.
- Never send cash!
- If you file electronically, you can file and pay in a single step by authorizing an electronic funds withdrawal via tax preparation software or a tax professional.
- Whether you file a paper return or electronically, you can pay by phone or online using a credit or debit card.
- Electronic payment options provide an alternative to paying taxes or user fees by check or money order. You can make payments 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visit the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov and search e-pay, or refer to Publication 3611, IRS e-File Electronic Payments for more details.
- If you itemize, you may be able to deduct the convenience fee charged for paying individual income taxes with a credit or debit card as a miscellaneous itemized deduction on Form 1040, Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. The deduction is subject to the 2 percent limit.
- Enclose your payment with your return but do not staple it to the form.
- If you pay by check or money order, make sure it is payable to the “United States Treasury.”
- Always provide your correct name, address, Social Security number listed first on the tax form, daytime telephone number, tax year and form number on the front of your check or money order.
- Complete and include Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher, when mailing your payment to the IRS. Double-check the IRS mailing address. This will help the IRS process your payment accurately and efficiently.
For more information, call 800-829-4477 and select TeleTax Topic 158, Ensuring Proper Credit of Payments. You can also find out more in Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax and Form 1040-V, both available at http://www.irs.gov
B. Three Ways to Pay Your Federal Income Tax
(Issue Number: IRS Tax Tip 2011-68 / Published on 04.06.2011)
If you owe taxes but can’t pay the full amount by the April 18 deadline you should still file your return on time and pay as much as you can to avoid penalties and interest. You should also contact the IRS to ask about alternative payment options. Here are three alternative payment options you may want to consider:
1. Additional Time to Pay: Based on your circumstances, you may be granted a short additional time to pay your tax in full. A brief additional amount of time to pay can be requested through the Online Payment Agreement application at http:www.IRS.gov or by calling 800-829-1040. Taxpayers who request and are granted an additional 60 to 120 days to pay the tax in full generally will pay less in penalties and interest than if the debt were repaid through an installment agreement over a greater period of time.
2. Installment Agreement: You can apply for an IRS installment agreement using the Web-based Online Payment Agreement application on IRS.gov. This Web-based application allows taxpayers who owe $25,000 or less in combined tax, penalties and interest to self-qualify, apply for, and receive immediate notification of approval. You can also request an installment agreement before your current tax liabilities are actually assessed by using OPA. The OPA option provides you with a simple and convenient way to establish an installment agreement and eliminates the need for personal interaction with IRS and reduces paper processing. You may also complete and submit a Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request, make your request in writing, or call 1-800-829-1040 to make your request. For balances over $25,000, you are required to complete a financial statement to determine the monthly payment amount for an installment plan. For more complete information see Tax Topic 202, Tax Payment Options on http.www.IRS.gov.
3. Pay by Credit Card or Debit Card: You can charge your taxes on your American Express, MasterCard, Visa or Discover credit cards. Additionally, you can pay by using your debit card. However, the debit card must be a Visa Debit Card, or a NYCE, Pulse or Star Debit Card. To pay by credit card or debit card, contact one of the service providers at its telephone number or Web site listed below and follow the instructions. There is no IRS fee for credit or debit card payments, but the processing companies charge a convenience fee or flat fee. If you are paying by credit card, the service providers charge a convenience fee based on the amount you are paying. If you are paying by debit card, the service providers charge a flat fee of $3.89 to $3.95. Do not add the convenience fee or flat fee to your tax payment.
The processing companies are:
To pay by debit or credit card: 888-PAY-1040 (888-729-1040), www.pay1040.com
RBS WorldPay, Inc.
To pay by debit or credit card: 888-9PAY-TAX (888-972-9829), www.payUSAtax.com
Official Payments Corporation:
To pay by debit or credit card: 888-UPAY-TAX (888-872-9829), www.officialpayments.com/fed
For more information about filing and paying your taxes, visit http:www.IRS.gov and choose 1040 Central or refer to the Form 1040 Instructions or IRS Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax. You can download forms and publications at http://www.irs.gov or request a free copy by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
C. Ten Things to Know About Tax Refunds
(Issue Number: IRS Tax Tip 2011-66 / Published 04.04.2011)
Are you expecting a tax refund this year? Here are 10 things the IRS wants you to know about your refund.
- Refund Options: You have three options for receiving your individual federal income tax refund: direct deposit, U.S. Savings Bonds or a paper check. You can now use your refund to buy up to $5,000 in U.S. Series I Savings Bonds in multiples of $50.
- Separate Accounts: You may use Form 8888, Allocation of Refund (Including Savings Bond Purchases), to request that your refund be allocated by direct deposit among up to three separate accounts, such as checking or savings or retirement accounts. You may also use this form to buy U.S Savings Bonds.
- Tax Return Processing Times: If you file a complete and accurate paper tax return, your refund will usually be issued within six to eight weeks from the date it is received. If you filed electronically, your refund will normally be issued within three weeks after the acknowledgment date.
- Check the Status Online The fastest and easiest way to find out about your current year refund is to go to IRS.gov and click the “Where’s My Refund?” link at the IRS.gov home page. To check the status online you will need your Social Security number, filing status and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund shown on your return.
- Check the Status By Phone You can check the status of your refund by calling the IRS Refund Hotline at 800–829–1954. When you call, you will need to provide your Social Security number, your filing status and the exact whole dollar amount of the refund shown on your return.
- Check the Status with IRS2Go IRS2Go is a smartphone application that lets you interact with the IRS using your mobile device. Apple users can download the free IRS2Go application by visiting the Apple App Store. Android users can visit the Android Marketplace to download the free IRS2Go app. Simply enter your Social Security number, which will be masked and encrypted for security purposes, then select your filing status and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund shown on your return.
- Delayed Refund There are several reasons for delayed refunds. For things that may delay the processing of your return, refer to Tax Topic 303 available on the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov, which includes a Checklist of Common Errors When Preparing Your Tax Return.
- Larger than Expected Refund If you receive a refund to which you are not entitled, or one for an amount that is more than you expected, do not cash the check until you receive a notice explaining the difference. Follow the instructions on the notice.
- Smaller than Expected Refund If you receive a refund for a smaller amount than you expected, you may cash the check. If it is determined that you should have received more, you will later receive a check for the difference. If you did not receive a notice and you have questions about the amount of your refund, wait two weeks after receiving the refund, then call 800–829–1040.
- Missing Refund The IRS will assist you in obtaining a replacement check for a refund check that is verified as lost or stolen. If the IRS was unable to deliver your refund because you moved, you can change your address online. Once your address has been changed, the IRS can reissue the undelivered check.
For more information, visit the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov or call 800-829-1040.
- Where’s My Refund?
- Form 3911, Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund (PDF 62K)
- Form 8888, Allocation of Refund (Including Savings Bond Purchases) (PDF)
- Tax Topic 152 — Refunds
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Where’s My Refund? English|Spanish |ASL
- Free IRS2Go Phone App: English|ASL
- Use Split-Refund Option to Buy Bonds: English |Spanish|ASL
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