It took me about 30 minutes to find out how to find out my Federal income taxes balance, and I couldn’t find that number online.
The IRS obviously has the amount of taxes we owe them online in a computer somewhere, right? So why not put that number online?
Perhaps because of fear of privacy exposure issues, but more than likely it’s due to the IRS lagging behind private industry in terms of options offered.
After all, I can logon to my Chase checking account or American Express account and make a payment and almost immediately see my balance reduced — usually within 24 hours or so.
If the IRS were my bank I’d fire them, I just thought to myself.
How to find out your federal income tax balances owed — but not online
I finally signed up for Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (https://www.eftps.gov) for the “easiest way to pay your federal taxes,” as the tagline says.
When I signed up, they gave me this info:
Congratulations. The online portion of your enrollment is complete.
Within seven days, you will receive in the mail:
Instructions on how to obtain a password to use EFTPS.gov
Your enrollment number is [my number]. This is important. Print for your records.
If your business payment must reach the IRS today to be timely, check with your financial institution about the availability of same-day tax wire payments. Fees may apply. The Same-Day Payment Worksheet shows the information your financial institution will need.
Cool beans and all, but even when I get that PIN via snail mail, I won’t be able to check my new balances owed to the IRS via the https://www.eftps.gov website.
Turns out I had to call the IRS personal tax questions line at 800-829-1040 and eventually press through I think the #2 option and then some other option — and either before and afterward being transferred to another department when I asked them how to check my IRS owed balances online.
I had to wait about 15 minutes or less on hold, but I found out some great info in the meantime.
The first IRS guy I talked to told me when I use EFTPS, it’s best to use 2 different checking accounts — one for my personal taxes and one for my business taxes, because if the IRS sees two different tax returns based on the same checking account, they’ll kick out the second account and send you a letter that you have to take to your financial institution to get approved.
No problem there.
But back to find out how much I owe the IRS…
Okay, so a nice sister was able to give me my balance owed to the IRS after confirming information for my husband (the primary filer) and I — like our full names, ssns, addresses, dates of birth, amount owed, tax year, and any more info that would be helpful.
That additional info I gave her was that I know I owed approximately $6,428 to the feds for the 2010 tax year (thank God I’ll now be able to pay online in advance and get that money out of my hands and to the IRS during the year so no more owing) — and that I’d sent the IRS a $1,000 check that they already cashed, along with a request for an installment payment to pay $700 each month till it’s paid off.
She told me that the IRS had sent me a letter approving the installment payout plan (Yay! The Lord is truly great and patient…) and that my new $5,505.24 balance owed includes interest and penalties. (That’s not bad interest or penalties.)
The government had graciously made my installment payment start date June 28, 2011.
Prior to that, I’d asked her what if I want to pay my $700 payment now, seeing as though today is May 26th and I’d requested payments to be made by the 28th of each month.
She said if I make a payment more than 2 weeks ahead of time, you won’t get credit for that month, meaning, I guess, that if I pay now early in May, that I’ll still have to pay in June.
Works for me, bless it, so as soon as I get that PIN I plan to head to EFTPS and pay that first $700 installment payment to the IRS.
And $700 is just the minimum, she said I can pay more than that when I asked her — as long as I just pay the minimum agreed upon amount.
So my new plan is to pay off that $5,505.24 well before December 31, 2011 — and also pre-pay my 2011 tax year estimated owed IRS federal tax amounts that the IRS says I can pay through the electronic federal tax payment system online, too.
I’m so glad this is finally coming together.
And I plan to pay off the IRS Ohio state taxes I put on my American Express credit card via Official Payments this year, too — not to mention my Chase Ink business card charges as well.
Life is good. God is better.
Getting all these ducks in a row and finally learning how to pay these taxes online and check my IRS tax balances owed (not online, but via the phone, where the woman said I can call back to check my new balances — or wait for the mailout that the IRS sends with updated numbers) is helping to set me up in a position that I’m so ready to take in much more income now that the tax part of it is getting to be on autopilot.
And thank our Maker for my new CPA to file all those personal and business taxes online! Win win!