There are two convenient methods by which quarterly estimated tax payments may be made online. The first and original way is EFTPS, or Electronic Federal Tax Payment Service. The second is IRS Direct Pay. They are both easy to use and neither charges a fee for use. The difference between the two is that in order to use EFTPS, the user must pre-register to obtain a personal identification number (PIN), and to use Direct Pay, the user does not need to pre-register.
The EFTPS PIN takes about a week to be mailed to the user once it's requested from the IRS. Once you get the pin, it's easy and quick to sign in. However, if you don't have a week to spare, using EFTPS is not a great option as your payment may end up being late. Direct Pay is a great alternative as it doesn't require that the user pre-register. However, in using Direct Pay, you must verify your identity every single time you use the service. This ensures security and accuracy.
Using either service is as simple as logging in. Both will allow you to link your bank account or to pay using credit or debit card. EFTPS will remember this information under your PIN protected account, but IRS Direct Pay will not, so you will need to enter it each time as well.
Paying by Mailed Voucher
Form 1040 ES includes vouchers that can be mailed to the IRS. Each one has a due date printed in the upper right hand corner of the voucher for easy organization and access to due date information. Vouchers are only to be used if you are paying by check or money order. If a couple is filing separately, they must each mail in a separate voucher rather than using a joint voucher.
Depending on where you live, you will need to send your voucher to a specific address that corresponds with your region's processing center. These addresses can also be found on form 1040-ES, but for those of us who live in Vermont or greater New England, the address to mail in your vouchers is:
Internal Revenue Service
PO Box 37007
Hartford, CT 06167-7007
Payment by Phone
There are a few different options if you would like to pay by phone. To do a direct transfer from a bank, the user must be enrolled in EFTPS which can be done either online, or by requesting that a form be sent by mail. To use this service once you are enrolled, you may call:
(800) 555-4477 for English
(800) 244-4829 for Spanish
(800)733-4829 for TTY or TDD assisted equipment
If you're not enrolled in EFTPS, you can still pay by phone using a credit or debit card through a third party processing service provider. There is a fee for these services which varies by company, type of card used, and payment amount.
Official Payments Corporation - (888) UPAY-Tax (872-9824)
Link2Gov Corporation - (888) PAY-1040 (729-1040)
WorldPay US - (844) Pay-Tax-8 (729-9298)
Applying Previous Year Refund or Overpayment to Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments:
If you have a refund for your previous calendar year, it may be wise to put it towards your next year's taxes. If for some reason you have put off your first payment and the first due date of April 15th is approaching, this is a way to get your taxes in quickly. However, you can not change your mind about applying your refund after April 15th, so it is best to make sure you don't plan to use the money for anything else. If you estimate that your taxes will be close to the amount of your refund, it could be convenient to use the refund instead of worrying about making the payment due dates. If you expect to pay more taxes in the current year than in the previous year, it may lessen the impact of the quarterly estimated tax payments on your budget.
Where can I get help?
If you are unsure if you owe estimated taxes, or you do not know how much to pay, contact us and we'll be happy to help you do the calculation.