William Perez has worked as a tax professional since 2004. He earned the enrolled agent designation by passing a comprehensive examination on federal taxes and maintains his credential by taking continuing education classes.
Paying Estimated Taxes by Check
Paying estimated taxes by check is pretty easy. Just make sure to use the 1040-ES payment vouchers (pdf). Make the check payable to the "United States Treasury." In the memo field of the check, be sure to write your Social Security Number and indicate the year for which you are paying, for example "2014 Form 1040-ES."
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Avoid making the check payable to the "IRS" or "I.R.S." as some thieves have confiscated these checks and altered the name to "J.R.Smith" or "MRS Smith" or some other permutation. You can prevent this sort of theft by always writing out "United States Treasury," as that cannot be easily altered.
Mail your check along with a Form 1040-ES voucher to the IRS. Current mailing addresses for estimated tax payments are located at: Where to File Addresses for Taxpayers Filing Form 1040-ES .
Paying Estimated Taxes by Credit Card
To pay by credit card, you'll need to use an authorized third-party payment service .
These payment services process tax payments by credit card or debit
card and forward the funds to the Internal Revenue Service. The payment processing services charge convenience fees.
Paying by credit card is very convenient, but I usually don't recommend it because there's a convenience fee involved, and you'll have to pay any finance charges on top of that. Still, paying by credit card can help avoid any late payment penalties charged by the IRS.
Paying Estimated Taxes by Online Bill Pay
The Treasury Department operates two online payment systems.
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One is called the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System. or EFTPS for short. I use EFTPS personally, and the service works very smoothly. It can take a few weeks to get fully registered with the service. Once you are set up, you will be able to schedule estimated payments from your checking account very quickly. EFTPS users can print out a report showing all their estimated payments for the year, which is a handy report to have at tax time. To pay your estimated taxes, simply login to EFTPS and schedule an estimated payment. You can indicate the dollar amount and the date you want the payment withdrawn from your bank account.
Both EFTPS and Direct Pay enables people to schedule federal tax payments from a checking or savings account.