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Anyone Have Experience Paying Estimated Taxes Electronically?

paoli2
paoli2   |     |   2,545 posts since 2011

The IRS is not answering calls since the government is closed so I may not get my 2019 1040 Estimated Tax Vouchers in time. I was just reading about paying them electronically through this eftps.gov. Has anyone used this free service to pay taxes and/or estimated taxes? I would like to know if I can expect any problems doing it this way from others who have used the service. Any info or advice you can share will be greatly appreciated. I think last year I was told I could just mail in the annual Estimated taxes amount in a check without a Form 1040 ES voucher as long as I put everything needed on the check. They accepted the money but I have no one to call this year to find out if I can do that again. Much appreciation for any help.



Answers
Bozo
Bozo   |     |   1,323 posts since 2011
For whatever it's worth, this dinosaur still pays with forms printed out on my handy-dandy printer purchased for $99 (plus tax) at Best Buy. In actuality, I did so today (Vouchers # 4 for both State and Federal). I fill out the forms, write the checks, make copies for our records, and plop in the mail. As noted, I'm a dinosaur.
paoli2
paoli2   |     |   2,545 posts since 2011
Bozo: Please let me know where you are finding those vouchers you are filling out and mailing? I, too, have my handy dandy cheapo printer waiting for the 2019 Est.Tax vouchers but to date all I see are the 2018 ones. Have you found a secret hide-a-way where they have the 2019. Even tho I do the "one time pay" thing I still need that #1 2019 voucher. Tried calling H.R.Block to buy it off of them but they claim they have to wait until the IRS puts them out and they are not out yet. Thanks.
Goldrush
Goldrush   |     |   13 posts since 2013
According to Turbotax, the 2019 1040ES vouchers will be available on January 17, 2019.

On the attached link, scroll down until you find the 1040ES vouchers and it will show the date the forms will be available from the IRS.

https://care-cdn.prodsupportsite.a.intuit.com/forms-availability/turbotax_fed_windows_individual.html
Goldrush
Goldrush   |     |   13 posts since 2013
It looks like the January 17, 2019 availability date is for Turbotax and not the publish date for the IRS web site. Last year, the 2018 version was not published on the IRS website until March 5, 2018, so the 2019 version probably won't be available to download until sometime in March 2019. Sorry for the confusion.
AnnO
AnnO   |     |   19 posts since 2018
And H&R Block will have their 1040-ES ready on 1/31/2019. https://www.hrblock.com/tax-software/updates-back-editions/federal-forms-available.html
highrate
highrate   |     |   10 posts since 2016
I do what you do Bozo. It keeps the post office alive
QED
QED   |     |   50 posts since 2013
That free service looks to me like a slam dunk. However:

Best way to pay tax electronically without a form, and this has been true for a number of years, is through use of a rewards credit card where the reward percentage is greater than the service charge percentage. That way you make money on your tax payment instead of merely breaking even. For example, right now Freedom Credit Union has a 5% reward credit card. Freedom is in the Philadelphia, PA, region. Using this card to pay you make roughly 3% on your Federal tax payment. Many people overapy their tax on purpose to harvest even larger rewards, then claim the overpayment as a refund on their return. This is legal and it works. I speak from personal experience.
paoli2
paoli2   |     |   2,545 posts since 2011
QED: Just want to make sure I understand your post. If I want to pay my full annualized estimated payment for the year as I regularly do, but over the phone with one of those free pay services, are you posting that there is no voucher I have to send in to prove my payment? That is my main concern about paying over the phone or that EFPTS service. Where is our proof of payment? Do we have to be sure to print the confirmation page as per "tck's" post? Thanks.
QED
QED   |     |   50 posts since 2013
I apologize for any misunderstanding. I know nothing about paying via telephone. I pay on the internet with a credit card and, yes absolutely for certain, there is a service charge which amounts to a bit less than 2% of the amount you are paying. But when your credit card reward equals or exceeds 2% you really do not mind the service charge since you are making money, net net, on the deal and the convenience level is VERY high.

Regarding a receipt: They provide one instantly at conclusion of the transaction which you must however print out using your computer printer.

I have paid using the above scheme for many years and never have encountered any problems whatsoever. But I'm not special. Many people pay the IRS this way today because we all like to receive a discount on our taxes, even a small one, and because it is more convenient, less time consuming, and you save a stamp.

Moreover if you get your timing right, when you pay by credit card there is additional time before you actually have to fork over the cash. Your money remains in the bank earning interest. Pay by check and that same money could be gone inside a week.  By "timing right" I mean you pay your tax just after your credit card statement has closed.  That way it could be forty or fifty days before you actually must pay the charge in order to avoid credit card interest.
aaflygirl
aaflygirl   |     |   39 posts since 2016
Anyone have a list of the top 10 highest paying reward credit cards right now available on a national scale?
QED
QED   |     |   50 posts since 2013
Take a look at Discover Miles (3% first year, 1.5% thereafter) and at Alliant Visa Signature (3% first year then 2.5%). Consider Citi DoubleCash and PayPal, both at 2%. You are too late for the Freedom Credit Union 5% across the board deal. But they might offer the deal again in future. Made a killing on that one. Very sweet.

There are a good many other credit card reward deals around, including "category" deals.  But all the cards listed up above are offering the rewards indicated across the board.  And payment of tax is not a "category" sort of expenditure, so you need a good across the board card to make money on a tax payment.   
aaflygirl
aaflygirl   |     |   39 posts since 2016
Ok, thanks for the information!
tck
tck   |     |   14 posts since 2016
I used the EFTPS site for a number of years to pay FICA and FUTA taxes for the company I use to work for. As far as I recall, I never had any issues, it was really convenient. It was such a long time ago that I set up my account and started all that, I don't remember the process. I'm sure it's straightforward, I say go for it. After you "click submit" to make your payment, what I always did was print the confirmation page and save it as a PDF to my computer for offline records.
AnnO
AnnO   |     |   19 posts since 2018
You have to wait for a snail-mailed confirmation code the first time you set up an EFTPS account, but once it is set up, you can schedule payments up to a year in advance. The one-time-payment site IRS Direct Pay allows immediate online setup by asking information from your previous year's tax return.
paoli2
paoli2   |     |   2,545 posts since 2011
I am still waiting for my pin from EFTPS but I checked out their webpage and info and don't think I will be able to pay our l040 ES the way I always do in one annualized payment. I went through the tutorial on the phone and there is no way to make it clear I want to pay estimated tax unless I am missing something. I guess I will have to try the Direct Pay and see if it works out for me better. Their customer service reps on EFTPS will not answer any questions about the estimated tax and if it will work on their system. Has any poster here found a way to pay estimated tax on EFTPS? How do you get it to know that is what you want to pay? Thanks.
micheleforan
micheleforan   |     |   5 posts since 2018
If you have one of many credit cards paying 2% cash back the best way to pay estimated taxes (and others) is on the site: https://www.pay1040.com/
You do not have to go to some IRS page and get lost. This way you have an immediate receipt and a permanent one on your credit card bill.
paoli2
paoli2   |     |   2,545 posts since 2011
Thanks for the helpful info. However, I went to that "pay1040" page and they want 1.87% fee for whatever you need to pay! That can cost me almost $100.00 since I pay off my estimated taxes for the entire year with one payment and that is a large amount. I don't do the quarterly thing. I will have to check to see if there is a cheaper way to do it electronically. There is one call "free pay" I think on the IRS page so I may have to recheck that. I also don't want to get another credit card and mine doesn't give me anything back for my purchases. Maybe one day. Thanks anyway.
Ricochet
Ricochet   |     |   480 posts since 2010
Please
I'd like to know paoli2, how many times you have only paid your est. tax at the end of the year?
I understood that if you don't pay by the quarter that they can penalize you EACH quarter for Underpayment of taxes.
paoli2
paoli2   |     |   2,545 posts since 2011
Ricochet: If one reads all the instructions which comes with estimated tax, you will find out they will allow one to pay all their est. tax due at one time IF you pay it before the date your regular taxes are due and send it in one check. Last year I never got my vouchers to send in the #1 voucher and was told by IRS that I could still send in the full annual amount due and be sure to put on the check it was for our 2018 Est. taxes and include our social security numbers etc.
You can either pay it in quarters or pay it as an annualized payment. The easiest way I have found to do it without getting a penalty is to just send 90 to 100% of what the tax is on our 1040 for that year. One can't risk underpaying if you do it this way. If we get a refund, I put that also towards the estimated tax due I will be owing for the particular year. I have never had a problem doing it this way but I know most people want to hold on to their money all year. With my life, I need to get things done as soon as possible and know it is paid even if it costs me a few extra dollars I might loose keeping the money in a savings account until year end.

I have just enrolled with that EFTPS free payment service and hope to be able to pay them the large annualized estimated tax due when I send in my regular federal and state tax forms. I usually do the fill in forms and mail them in. I already requested and got spouse's RMDs sent to our bank account so I will have whatever we need to pay in the account when it is needed. Yes, I know my way is not the DA way to do things but it's all legal and at my age, I have to get it done what is best for me.
Ricochet
Ricochet   |     |   480 posts since 2010
Thanks for that info.
I use EFTPS on the quarter and can have it pulled automatically from account.
I also do the 90 / 100% to take advantage of the Safe Harbor rule, but did not
recall paying at end of year clause. I think this year I will do it your way as Figuring
1/4 payments is difficult when chasing rates as we do.
paoli2
paoli2   |     |   2,545 posts since 2011
Ricochet: I just saw your post and have to clarify something with you. I did not post I pay at "end" of year. The reason they allow what I do is because the entire amount has to be sent in with the first voucher which I do every year. I can't research it now but I was rereading it this morning in Pub 505. This is why I wrote I didn't think this was the DA people's way to do it since they like to hold on to their money until the end of the year to earn a bit more interest. If you wait and try to send it in at the end of the year they will hit you with those penalties you wrote about earlier.

Another hint: I love my DA posters but I never use anyone's advice until I recheck it for myself and am convince they are giving me correct info, especially when it comes to taxes etc. I was reading so much this morning about estimated taxes that I can't remember which one of the IRS pamphlets made it clear. If i find It, I will post it to you but you can't wait to pay the entire amount at the end of the year when it comes to estimated taxes. I know that much for sure. Whew! Hope you read this before the end of this year. :)
paoli2
paoli2   |     |   2,545 posts since 2011
Ricochet: Some needed info on Estimated tax is in Pub 505 and check Page 26 "When to Start" "Pay all of your estimated tax by the due date of your first payment" (this is to avoid penalties) and

"No income subject to estimated tax during first period. If you don’t have income subject to estimated tax until a later payment period, you must make your first payment by the due date for that period. You can pay your entire es-timated tax by the due date for that period or you can pay it in installments by the due date for that period and the due dates for the remain-ing periods. Table 2-1 shows the general due dates for making installment payments when the due date does not fall on a Saturday, Sun-day, or holiday."
Pub 505 explains it and can make it much clearer than I can. This is the reason every year I go nuts trying to get the Est. Tax Vouchers for that year so I can see the date on first voucher. If we pay it electronically, I will just pay it all as early as I can since I may not know the exact due date. Hope this helps.
paoli2
paoli2   |     |   2,545 posts since 2011
Ok, this makes it more simple. Form 1040 ES:

Payment Due Dates
You can pay all of your estimated tax by April 17, 2018, or
in four equal amounts by the dates shown below.
1st payment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . April 17, 2018

The above was for 2018 Estimated Tax which I paid in full on Feb 2018 and had no problems. Now I am done with this subject until at least tomorrow. So sorry I got you confused.
Ricochet
Ricochet   |     |   480 posts since 2010
No need to reply paoli2, enjoyed reading your posts over the years.
You are no doubt a through person and a generous one for the time spent on setting me straight. ThankYou very much. good health to you.
AnnO
AnnO   |     |   19 posts since 2018
"you can't wait to pay the entire amount at the end of the year when it comes to estimated taxes. I know that much for sure."

You can't when making payments directly to the IRS, without being considered late. But you CAN when paying via withholding from your end-of-year RMD. https://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T045-C000-S004-withhold-taxes-from-your-rmds.html
Bozo
Bozo   |     |   1,323 posts since 2011
AnnO, good point (although it's been mentioned before). RMD withholding is deemed spread over the entire year.

Example: Slothful Jack forgets to make his estimated tax payments. He wakes up on December 15, and realizes he will owe penalties and interest on account of his sloth. Jack decides to lump his entire tax liability into his end-year RMD withholding. Jack is saved.
paoli2
paoli2   |     |   2,545 posts since 2011
AnnO: Just wanted to thank you for sharing that Kiplinger article. It is excellent and I learned something I had forgotten about the 100%! It will be a big help to me this year especially. I have saved the article. Much appreciation for sharing!
Ally6770
Ally6770   |     |   2,656 posts since 2010
I have the state and federal taxes taken out of the SS check, pension and RMD's. SS just does federal taxes. I take enough out to do my Roth conversion and interest. I never worry about it. Being retired the income is pretty steady except for interest and if it a lot interest for a given year I just up the amount taken out of the pension or RMD. I rarely every change the amount taken out. I have never had to pay anything.
paoli2
paoli2   |     |   2,545 posts since 2011
Welcome back Ally but is this a joke? Since when can we pay our taxes out of our SS checks? Maybe you mean you use the money from your pension or RMDs to pay the taxes yourself like we do. If SS does even federal taxes how come we don't hear more about it. Maybe I could get them to do our taxes. Seriously, where does it show on the SS page that they do taxes??
Goldrush
Goldrush   |     |   13 posts since 2013
You can request voluntary withholding of Federal income tax on Social Security on Form W-4V. State income taxes can not be withhold from Social Security.

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw4v.pdf

Choose the percentage of federal income tax that you want withheld on Line 6.
Mail the completed form to your local Social Security office.
Ally6770
Ally6770   |     |   2,656 posts since 2010
I will check our information tomorrow, but actually I cannot remember not having taxes taken out of our SS checks. My husband was put on disability in the 90's. I believe I did it then but will have to see if I kept his SS forms in our tax folders back then.
Ricochet
Ricochet   |     |   480 posts since 2010
Ally6770 says
I have the state and federal taxes taken out of the SS check, pension and RMD's. SS just does federal taxes

I read that to mean that she has each one of them separately taking out the fed and state taxes at the source. Except that SS doesn't do state and she has to pay that herself?
Then gets a little mad money to pay tax on interest and do the Roth?
Ally6770
Ally6770   |     |   2,656 posts since 2010
I did state in the first posting that SS does just federal taxes. I should have repeated that in my second posting also for those that did not read all the postings. Sorry.
Test3
Test3   |     |   13 posts since 2018
I've used "Direct Pay" through irs.gov to pay 1040-ES quarterly for a few years now without any issues. I started using that when they stopped sending the voucher after an address change.
paoli2
paoli2   |     |   2,545 posts since 2011
T3 That "Direct Pay" is the one I was hoping to use for the first time. Is there a way to make sure the money goes to the entire amount for our estimated taxes for 2019? Do they ask? I paid something a few years ago for taxes and they put it to the wrong thing. It took several letters in the mail to get them to redo it. Thanks.
AnnO
AnnO   |     |   19 posts since 2018
IRS Direct Pay has you select what you want the payment applied to, from a long drop-down list of options. I think there is a general 1040-ES option, without having to specify a quarter.
paoli2
paoli2   |     |   2,545 posts since 2011
I guess Direct Pay figures the 1040-ES figure is for the entire year and not for just a quarter if it is thousands of dollars at one time and get done at the right time. We do get a confirmation we can print out with this one, don't we? Thanks.
AnnO
AnnO   |     |   19 posts since 2018
Yep. https://www.carefulcents.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/confirm-and-save-IRS.png
Ricochet
Ricochet   |     |   480 posts since 2010
https://www.irs.gov/payments/direct-pay
I don't know how to link but i copied / paste this from site
Ally6770
Ally6770   |     |   2,656 posts since 2010
https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-waives-penalty-for-many-whose-tax-withholding-and-estimated-tax-payments-fell-short-in-2018?cm_ven=ExactTarget&cm_cat=DD+01172019&cm_pla=All+Subscribers&cm_ite=https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-waives-penalty-for-many-whose-tax-withholding[email protected]comcast.net&cm_ainfo=&&utm_source=MarketingCloud&&utm_medium=newsletters&&utm_campaign=news-DD&&
paoli2
paoli2   |     |   2,545 posts since 2011
Ally: Is it possible to see the link you have posted? I highlighted it and clicked but nothing comes up. Any other way to read it? Thanks.
Ricochet
Ricochet   |     |   480 posts since 2010
Its not a _LINK_
You have to copy / paste in the search bar
AnnO
AnnO   |     |   19 posts since 2018
It's also an unnecessarily-long URL that people might have more trouble copying. This is the only part that matters:
https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-waives-penalty-for-many-whose-tax-withholding-and-estimated-tax-pay...
(and oh, look, now it's clickable too)
lou
lou   |     |   771 posts since 2010
These rules can be very confusing. For instance, you can pay more than 90% of your total tax liability in a given year and still be subject to the penalty because you didn't pay it each quarter in a timely manner. There are really two tests as it relates to estimated payments. The 90% test and did you pay the correct percentage every quarter.
Ricochet
Ricochet   |     |   480 posts since 2010
address bar
paoli2
paoli2   |     |   2,545 posts since 2011
Thanks Anno: That's what I wanted. Thanks also for sharing the article, Ally. I am beginning to get in the mail some of my interest statements and SSAs for my taxes! Soon, I will be off to the tax races for another year! Much appreciation to our DA posters who help keep me informed so I can do them even quicker and correct!
paoli2
paoli2   |     |   2,545 posts since 2011
This reply is to Lou. I pay 100% of what my tax is for the 1040 I am sending in. I send a check for 1040 ES to a different address and state which year it is for. If I have a voucher for that year I will also include the voucher. If not, I write our SSs etc. on the "memo" section of the check.In fact, a usually add a few dollars more to the 100% "just to be sure" and they gladly have accepted my annual payment for all these years without a letter or notice to me that I am doing something wrong. I think the test is that we send the money in at the beginning of the year when we (I mail mine in early February hopefully) mail our regular Form 1040 taxes in but to seperate addresses. I may try just calling the amount into Direct Pay this year so they can get it quicker but I don't think they will want to penalize a taxpayer for getting the money to them as soon as possible. Those blasted voucher things get a lot of people confused and I think you may be misunderstanding what you are reading on this matter.
paoli2
paoli2   |     |   2,545 posts since 2011
Wow! The Form 1040 ES for 2019 is already on www.irs.gov! I have printed out and copied all the forms so I can work on which lines my info goes on these so called "postcard" forms. Are we supposed to cut them off the 8 x 10 pages and send them in in scrapes or send the whole pages if we mail them? I do the fill in forms and mail them in. Does anyone know if there is a special set up to put these Schedules and other forms in like Sched B? Now I just have to wait for all our banks and cus to send in the 1099 INTs and I can get this done!
AnnO
AnnO   |     |   19 posts since 2018
I plan to send the full pages the way my printer spits them out.

The 'postcard'-plus-half-a-dozen-schedules nonsense at least retains the same line numbers for the same data points that you were used to using on the previous cohesive 1040, they're just rearranged and split up.
paoli2
paoli2   |     |   2,545 posts since 2011
Way to go, AnnO! I intend on doing the same. This postcard business is just a rouse to make us think we are getting easier and less taxes to pay. It's just a waste of empty space on all the sheets that have to be sent in now. Typical of the empty mines that run our government.
Bozo
Bozo   |     |   1,323 posts since 2011
Paoli2, I suspect the IRS will be more than happy to accept your payment whether you snip off the voucher ("cut here") or not. Ironically, the IRS stopped sending me estimated tax vouchers in the mail years ago, which relegated me to on-line forms.
My printer fails to perforate.
paoli2
paoli2   |     |   2,545 posts since 2011
Bozo, what makes you think the IRS sent me the vouchers in the mail? Only my state still does that. I have to do a seance over the Federal webpage until they put them online and then print them out! They just went online a few days ago. I am now a lady-in-waiting for the tons of bank and cu 1099Ints and then I am off to the races to get this off my back.

Your printer doesn't "perforate"? Why mine makes me coffee and toast and is the only thing in our lil apartment which tells me "Good Morning". You really must have gotten the max-cheapo of all printers. :) Seriously, I can't wait for artificial intelligence to start up and I can get someone who "looks" human to say "Good Morning" to me even if we both know it won't be. Have a nice day Bozo and all our delightful DA posters. You, too, Ken!


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