IRS of­fers op­tions to pay taxes due

USA TODAY US Edition - - MONEY - Janna Her­ron

You’ve done your taxes, and now the ugly truth is star­ing back at you. In­stead of a re­fund or ze­ro­ing out, you owe Un­cle Sam money.

If you have enough money in the bank, there are sev­eral ways to sat­isfy your debt to the Internal Rev­enue Ser­vice. If you’re in the un­for­tu­nate po­si­tion of ow­ing more than you can af­ford, the agency of­fers three op­tions to deal with your tax liability.

Re­mem­ber: Pay­ments must be re­ceived by the IRS by the April 15 tax dead­line, or April 17 for res­i­dents of Maine and Mas­sachusetts due to lo­cal hol­i­days. If your pay­ment isn’t re­ceived, the IRS can charge penal­ties and in­ter­est.

If you filed for an ex­ten­sion, you still must pay any es­ti­mated taxes you owe by the April 15 dead­line.

Here are your pay­ment op­tions:

❚ Di­rect from bank ac­count: You can have funds au­to­mat­i­cally with­drawn from a bank ac­count when you e-file and choose the e-pay op­tion pro­vided by tax prepa­ra­tion soft­ware or through a tax pro­fes­sional. Oth­er­wise, you can pay on­line at the IRS through its “Di­rect Pay” ser­vice from your check­ing or sav­ings ac­count for no cost. You can track your pay­ment through email no­ti­fi­ca­tions or the “Look Up a Pay­ment” tool.

❚ By debit or credit card: You can pay on­line or by phone us­ing one of three pro­ces­sors that work with the IRS: World­Pay US, Link2GovCo­r­po­ra­tion or Of­fi­cial Pay­ments. These pro­ces­sors charge a ser­vice fee that may be tax-de­ductible.

❚ By cash: You can pay your tax liability at a par­tic­i­pat­ing re­tail store like 7Eleven. There’s a $3.99 fee per pay­ment. In gen­eral, it takes five to seven busi­ness days to process your pay­ment, so give your­self enough time be­fore the April 15 dead­line to get it done.

❚ By check, money or­der or cashier’s check: Make it payable to U.S. Trea­sury and in­clude the fol­low­ing in­for­ma­tion on the check, money or­der or cashier’s check: your name and ad­dress, day­time phone num­ber, So­cial Se­cu­rity num­ber (or the first SSN to ap­pear on a joint re­turn) or em­ployer iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­ber, tax year, and the re­lated tax form or no­tice num­ber. Don’t sta­ple or pa­per­clip your check to your voucher or tax re­turn. Mail your pay­ment to the ad­dress on the no­tice or in­struc­tions.

By wire trans­fer: Some banks can do a same-day wire for your tax pay­ment. You need to com­plete the Same-Day Tax­payer Work­sheet. Ask your bank or other fi­nan­cial institutio­n for cut-off times, fees and other de­tails.

Pay now the tax you owe

Can’t pay Un­cle Sam now?

❚ In­stall­ment plan: The IRS of­fers two in­stall­ment plans that you can ap­ply for on­line: a short-term (less than 120 days) pay­ment plan or a long-term (more than 120 days) one. Which plan you qual­ify for depends on how much you owe and your spe­cific tax sit­u­a­tion. Fees and in­ter­est will be added to your tax bill if you take a pay­ment plan.

❚ Set­tle for smaller amount: The IRS also al­lows you to of­fer a com­pro­mise to set­tle your tax debt for less than the full amount. The agency con­sid­ers your abil­ity to pay, in­come, ex­penses and as­set eq­uity to de­ter­mine if you qual­ify.

You must be cur­rent on your tax fil­ings and not in an open bank­ruptcy pro­ceed­ing.

❚ De­lay pay­ment: You can re­quest a tem­po­rary de­lay in pay­ment from the IRS. The agency may re­quire you to fill out a Col­lec­tion In­for­ma­tion State­ment form and pro­vide in­for­ma­tion on your per­sonal fi­nances. You will be charged penal­ties and in­ter­est on your tax debt un­til you pay the en­tire amount.

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