How do I pay back taxes?

How To Pay Back Taxes

When you pay your back taxes, you will be using any of the methods available for paying ‘regular' taxes. Therefore, you can pay by mail with a hard copy, by phone via credit card or direct debit, or online via various payment centers.

Mail. When you want to mail in your previously unfiled tax return, you can send a tax payment along with it. You can prepare and enclose a check, money order, or cashier's check. Make your paper document payable to the United States Treasury. You also need to include in the memo section: type of original tax form (1040, etc.), tax year payment applies to, IRS notice number (if any), your taxpayer identification number. If available, include the IRS Form 1040-V (Payment Voucher).

Phone. You can make back tax payments using either the EFTPS program or your credit card.

If you have set up an electronic funds withdrawal program through the ETFPS, you can pay your back tax bill by phone.

The EFTPS (Electronic Federal tax Payment System is operated by the United State's Department of Treasury. The EFTPS involves direct debits from your applicable bank account. You can use this system 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is secure, safe, and easy to use. You simply sign up for it online through a link found on the IRS website. Or, you can go directly to Once you sign up for EFTPS, you can pay your back taxes either online through their website or by calling them at 1-800-555-4477.

Credit Card. You can also pay via credit card using the phone. The IRS accepts American Express, MasterCard, Visa, and Discover. A convenience fee may apply when making payments via credit card, however. Two companies are set up to collect tax payments by phone:

  • Link2Gov via online at Or, call them at1-888-PAY1040 (1-888-729-1040) to make a tax payment
  • Official Payment Corporation ( online. They also can be reached via phone at 1-800-2PAYTAX (1-800-272-9829).
Cash. You can pay your back taxes by cash. Just be certain you do this at your local IRS branch office. Do not mail cash, obviously. Get a receipt, also.

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