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10 Things You Need to Know Before Mailing Federal Tax Payments

Before you send off your hard earned cash, read this list provided by the Internal Revenue Service.

If you need to make a payment with your tax return this year, the IRS wants you to know about its payment options. Here are 10 important facts to help you make your tax payment correctly.

  1. Never send cash!
  2. 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.
  3. Whether you file a paper return or electronically, you can pay by phone or online using a credit or debit card. 
  4. Electronic payment options provide an alternative to checks or money orders. You can pay taxes or user fees 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visit the IRS website at irs.gov and search e-pay, or refer to Publication 3611, Electronic Payments for more details.
  5. 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. 
  6. If you file on paper, you can enclose your payment with your return but do not staple it to the form.
  7. If you pay by check or money order, make sure it is payable to the “United States Treasury.”
  8. Always provide on the front of your check or money order your correct name, address, Social Security number listed first on the tax form, daytime telephone number, tax year and form number.
  9. 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.
  10. 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 irs.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
Debbie L. Sklar (Editor) April 01, 2012 at 01:26 AM
Great tips from the IRS on filing!
Leonard Kinkade April 02, 2012 at 04:49 PM
These are very good ideas, However, I would suggest that you never put your Social Security Number on any document that will be view by the public. In this case individuals who would handle the check. Just note the number of the check you send, and on the check note that it was a income tax payment in the notation box of your check. If there is a question about it later a copy of the canceled check should be sufficient to prove you have paid your taxes. This is a much better way to protect your financial privacy Leonard Kinkade
Debbie L. Sklar (Editor) April 02, 2012 at 04:59 PM
@KC--Great advice!

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