Most of us do just about everything via computer these days. We spend our work hours in front of the machines. We electronically connect with family via social networks.
When it comes to personal business, such as paying bills or banking, many of us also head to our PC.
Well, the IRS wants to make sure you have it on your electronic transactions list.
Although the tax agency isn't doing away with paper checks (yet), it encourages us to have our refunds directly deposited. And when we owe Uncle Sam, the IRS would like us to pay our taxes electronically, too.
Once your EFTPS account is established, you can go online 24 hours a day, seven days a week and schedule a variety of personal tax payments up to a year in advance.
Who would do that, you ask? Me, for one.
Although I love the X-Files (thank God for cable reruns!), I'm not a big real-life conspiracy theory nut. So I don't worry about the IRS randomly sticking its fingers into my bank account. And I like the ease of scheduling payments and knowing my tax tasks will be taken care of even when I lose track of deadlines.
I haven't scheduled any tax payments a year in advance, but one instance when it might be worthwhile is for estimated tax payments. These four additional filings a year are paid by folks who get income that's not subject to payroll withholding taxes.
Once you figure out your annual estimated tax payment amounts, which the IRS likes in four equal installments, you can plug that info into your EFTPS account and be done with that tax responsibility for the year. The only thing you have to do is make sure you have the money in your bank account for it to be transferred to the IRS on the dates you pick.
I'm bringing this up right now because the third estimated tax payment for the 2010 tax year is due Sept. 15.
If you'd like to pay it and future tax bills via EFTPS, you need to set up your account now. Even though it's all electronic, when you register the IRS sends you a personal identification number, or PIN, that you must use to access your account.
But it send that PIN via snail mail. And that takes about a week.
So if you're interested in using the IRS online payment system for your September tax payment, you need to sign up for EFTPS soon.
Do you pay bills online? Do you get your refund as a direct deposit? Would you consider paying the IRS electronically? If not, why not?