How to See if Your Credit, Debit, & Gift Card Tax Payments Are Received by the IRS

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I’ve written before on how to use the Delta debit card to earn miles while paying taxes and how to select the top credit cards to use to pay your taxes.  Frequent Miler has also written on how to use gift cards to pay your taxes.  You do pay a fee for using a credit card to pay your taxes, but it could be worth it to complete the minimum spending on your credit cards or to earn airline and hotel perks.

The IRS website suggests that you can make 2 estimated tax payments per quarter using a credit card, but readers commented that you can make more payments with a credit card or a gift card by:

  • Using each of the 4 different tax payment providers to make 2 estimated tax payments per quarter online for a total of 8 online payments
  • Calling each of the 4 payment processors and have them process additional payments over the telephone

Note that not all providers offer the same fee for using a credit card and the flat fee of $3.49 for using your debit card.

But talk to YOUR accountant or lawyer before making more than 2 payments per quarter with a credit card towards your quarterly taxes, since the IRS rules aren’t very clear on what is the maximum number of payments allowed.

Track Tax Payments

But how do you keep track of all these payments?  Million Mile Secrets reader Brant (thanks!) emailed me about the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) which will show you a record of your tax payments.

This is a great way to see if your payments were accepted by the IRS and also lets you see your payment history so that you can calculate the amount of payments you’ve made.

The EFTPS system shows you your payments regardless of the way in which you made the payment, so you’ll see online payments, check, and bank transfer payments.

If you haven’t enrolled, follow the steps in the next section to enroll.  Once you have enrolled and received your PIN via US mail, you can log in and see your tax payments.

How To Enroll

Step 1 – Sign-up

Go to the EFTPS website and click on “Enroll

Step 2 – Select Type

Check the box that you’ve read the fine print and select whether you want to see tax payments for your business or for yourself. If you are a sole proprietor who pays estimated taxes, you should select “Individual.

If you’re unsure of which type to select, ask your accountant or lawyer.

How to use EFTPS 4.htm

Step 2 – Select Type of Enrollment

Step 3 – Enter Information

Enter in the required information and hit review. If in doubt, ask your accountant or lawyer for help. Electronically sign the document and hit complete.

How to use EFTPS 4.htm

Step 3 – Enter Information

Step 4 – Wait for your PIN

You will get a confirmation that you PIN will be mailed to you via US mail. You should get the PIN in about 7 to 10 days. Once you get the PIN you can log into the system and see if your payments have been applied to your account.

How to use EFTPS 4.htm

Step 4 – Wait for Your PIN

How To View Your Tax Payments

Step 1 – Log in

Go to the EFTPS website and click on “Login.

How to use EFTPS

Step 1 – Click “Login”

Step 2 – Check Payments

Click on the “Check Payment History” tab on the left.

How to use EFTPS 7.htm

Step 2 – Click on “Check Payment History”

Step 3 – Review Payments

You will see a list of all your payments, together with the tax year to which they were applied.  You can sort your payments and download them as well.

Click the little green dollar sign to get more details about a particular payment.

How to use EFTPS 4.htm

Step 3 – Click the Dollar Sign to See More Details of a Payment

You will see the tax form and tax type to which the payment was applied.  In this way, you can ensure that your payment was applied to a particular tax type.  For example, you can check that your estimated payments for, say 2012,  was indeed applied towards your estimated payments for 2012.

How to use EFTPS 4.htm

Step 3 – See Details for a Transaction

Bottom Line

If you pay your taxes with a credit, debit, or gift card online, the EFTPS site is great way to check that the payment was actually received by the IRS.  It also lets you see your payments for the last 16 months so that you calculate how much tax you’ve paid.

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21 Responses to How to See if Your Credit, Debit, & Gift Card Tax Payments Are Received by the IRS

  1. I called them.

  2. I’m interested to know, what taxes are you referring to here? Taxes taken out of each paycheck? Property taxes?

  3. Usually its in reference to your federal taxes due in April or if you pay quarterly.

  4. Quick question about the 2 payments per quarter… do you know if it is based on the date of the payment or the quarter you are paying for.

    That is if I make a payment today 1/8/2013 for Q4 2012, does that transaction count for one of my two Q1 payments or one of my two Q4 2012 payments?

  5. This is a very useful post. I’ve been keeping track based on the emails I get from the payment company, but being able to check with the IRS is much better!

  6. For those folks utilizing Bluebird, would it not be just as convenient and probably more cost effective to use BB’s pay by check?

  7. Does anyone know if an individual can elect not to have any income tax taken out of his/her paycheck (from an employer) and then make his/her own quarterly or monthly income tax payments to the IRS?

  8. @ CG now that would be additional 25K miles a year. Can’t wait to hear what others have to say about it.

  9. This is a very useful post. Never thought to look up payment history here. It only shows the payments made online. Is anyone seeing payments made by check?

  10. Why are they asking for my bank info? The bank I have listed is totally unrelated to where my payments come from.

  11. @Michael – After you’ve enrolled and received your credentials, you can pay any tax due to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) using this system.

  12. BRILLIANT !
    Let’s see who flames you now about the Red arrows and circles – LOL !
    I look forward to seeing this info on all the blogs now – LOL

    I’ve had ETPTS all along, am also a CPA (albeit not active), yet this one skipped by me !

    Looked at my account (after trying to figure out what the old password was and having to reset it) and found LOTS of $496.05 payments ! Interestingly, one of them in the midst of all the 2012s, was dated 12/2011. Will have to make sure that gets credited properly.

    You might need to clarify for others why this is important (at the risk of being flamed for spoonfeeding…) Turns out to be 1/3 of a cent per UR point/mile.

    In our zest to bag the miles, sometimes keeping track of things can fall by the wayside.
    GREAT INFO !

    Looking forward to seeing it over and over and over now !

  13. @Tony - It is federal income taxes.

    @Kevin – It is based on the dates on which you make the payments. See this schedule for more information.

    @JakePB - You usually have to send a payment voucher with your taxes, so you’d have to have the check mailed to you and then mail it to the IRS.

    @CG @Sapan – You can, but that is very risky since you are liable for penalties and interest if you don’t pay the taxes on time.

    @PatMike
    – Thanks! I’m inactive too, but I never thought of using the EFTPS to search for a history of tax payments.

  14. You forgot to show the browser address bar where you type the web site address and hit the arrow or enter key. How rude ;)

    Good info about EFTPS though.

  15. Are you sure it shows check payments? I’m sure the IRS received my first two estimated payments yet neither show on EFTPS but my third that was paid with a debit card does show.

  16. This post just made me realize – I just paid my property tax just before the end of the year, and I didn’t use my Bluebird card! Arghghghg!!! Well there went potentially over 10,000 Chase UR points…

  17. @Mickey – Will try to include that next time. :)

    @Chad - I don’t have personal experience, since I haven’t sent a check to the IRS.

    @Andy – We can’t maximize every single transaction, so best to let it go…

  18. very useful. thanks!

    one thing i found is that, when I signed up, I used my ssn as primary and also my wife’s ssn as joint filer. it seems the history is only showing the payments I made.

    Do i need to sign up another account using my wife’s ssn or i am not doing it right.

    thanks

  19. @TravisZ - If your wife made payments online, she should have entered the primary SSN (your SSN). But talk to your accountant if the payments are not appearing online.

  20. Pingback: Pay federal taxes by credit card, almost for free - The Frequent Miler

  21. Pingback: The ultimate guide to paying taxes by credit card, debit card, or gift card. Part 1: Primer - The Frequent Miler

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