Do you feel that with each approaching tax deadline, you are playing the starring role in the latest science fiction flick—one where the main character wakes to a recurring nightmare? Just filing your tax return seems like an ordeal, but then you receive news that there is more work to be done by making a tax payment or waiting months for a refund check. When you’re looking to conquer that overwhelming feeling, you’ll be relieved to read that checking on your refund status and making tax payments can be conveniently done online. We’ll guide you through the process or lend a helping hand if you don’t want to wrestle with these details.
Let’s take a look.
If you’re interested in when you’ll receive your Federal tax refund, you can visit IRS.gov/refunds to check its status. You will need three key facts to check the status. First, you’ll need your social security number (or tax ID number), second, your filing status (single, joint, head of household), and third, the exact amount of the refund filed on your return in whole dollars.
By including direct deposit information when e-filing your return, you’ll avoid the wait for a paper check to arrive. Avoid a mishap with your direct deposit by keeping these things in mind:
- Direct deposits must go into an account owned by you, your spouse, or a joint account
- Your financial institution may reject your deposit
- There is a maximum of three electronic deposits into a single financial account
If you receive a paper refund check you were not expecting, consult your CPA or tax preparer as a multitude of errors could cause an erroneous refund. You have just twenty-one days to void and return a payment to the IRS.
If you need to make a payment, including an extension payment, a balance due, or an even estimated tax payment, head over to IRS.gov/payments. Let’s review the payment options available to individual taxpayers.
By using the IRS Direct Pay service to pay directly from your bank account, you won’t need to create an account, which is good news if you are in a hurry or need to pay on a deadline. However, you must confirm your identity by providing details of your prior year’s return. There are no fees to use this service, and you can schedule payments in advance, up to a full year. Direct Pay can be used to pay a specific tax amount, for a specific tax return, or your estimated taxes throughout the year.
While creating an IRS online account requires more time and effort to establish, it offers expanded services beyond making payments, including payment history and viewing future due dates. We highly recommend all taxpayers establish an account utilizing the ID.me credentials, which are now used to access both the IRS and SSA online, not only as a convenience but as a strategy to protect you from identity theft.
Finally, taxpayers with an Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) account can use it to make same-day tax payments, schedule estimated taxes, or make any other tax payments directly from their bank account. This option allows you to make business payments as well. A key benefit to this option is that your tax preparer can schedule payments, or you can do it for your 2023 estimated tax payments. Simply set it and forget it!
If you decide to pay via your credit card, processing fees will apply. As DMM’s, we don’t encourage this. Even should you accrue credit card points for paying this way, at the end of the day, the points are not worth the fees. With the average value of a credit card reward point at $0.006, you don’t come out ahead.
Along with federal taxes, you’ll want to check in on your state taxes as well. For links to each state’s tax payment portals, visit accounting and consulting firm Clifton Larson Allen’s helpful CLA Tax Payment sites-claconnet.com. You will also find links to all the states’ Department of Revenue sites and available options for making fiduciary tax payments.
Alternatively, you can check the IRS.gov website directly for their listing of individual states as well. These sites are particularly helpful when you must pay taxes in multiple states.
At Organized Instincts, our seasoned team of daily money managers monitors your myriad of federal and state tax obligations. So whether you make significant estimated tax payments, are a multi-state filer, or have refund checks arriving, we stand ready to help eliminate that tangled confusion. Send us an email today and learn how our team will conquer the task of making tax payments and tracking refunds and relieve you of this nightmarish task you so desperately dread.