Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS)

EFTPS Explained
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The Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) is a federal tax payment system that allows you to pay business taxes online. You can use EFTPS to pay income taxes, quarterly estimated taxes, federal employment taxes, and corporate taxes.

A reminder: The deadline for filing and paying your 2019 federal income taxes (including your small business tax form Schedule C) is now July 15, 2020. You can also delay making the first two quarterly estimated tax payments for 2020 until this date. Read more about this new deadline and what taxes can be extended.

What Taxes Can I Pay with EFTPS? 

EFTPS can be used to make many kinds of tax payments, including:

You can also use EFTPS to make non-depository payments of federal income taxes, estimated taxes, and employment taxes. 

How do I Enroll in EFTPS?

 Existing businesses and individuals can enroll in EFTPS by submitting an online application.

  • Go to the EFTPS website and click on "Enrollment" at the bottom of the screen.
  • You will need to enter your Employer ID Number (EIN) and the usual business contact information. You will receive a PIN number to use as an identifier.
  • Then you will be asked to authorize transactions. You can do this authorization yourself by providing your business checking account information (routing number and account number), or you can check with your financial institution to see if they will do the authorization for you. You can make the authorization by phone also.

Beware of Fake E-File Sites

Some websites pretend to be an IRS e-file site, and they will charge you to file and send payments. The only official IRS e-file pages are on IRS.gov. Any other sites are FAKE. Look at the bottom of the site to see who owns it.

How Does EFTPS Work?

When you sign up for EFTPS, you provide information about your business bank account (routing number and account number).

Once your account is verified, you make payments electronically using this system, just like any online banking or bill payment system. You can schedule payments ahead of time and schedule as many payments as you want. When a payment is made, you receive an acknowledgment of the transaction.

To avoid having your payment considered as late, you must make EFTPS payments no later than 8 p.m. ET the day before the due date. For example, if your tax payment is due on April 15, it must be entered no later than 8 p.m. ET on April 14.

Some features of the EFTPS system, according to the IRS. You can:

  • Schedule payments up to 365 days in advance
  • Keep track of payments online.
  • Easily change or cancel payments.
  • Track your payment with email notifications.
  • View 15 months of payment history. 

Can I Use EFTPS if I Have a Payroll Processing Service?

Your payroll processing service can use EFTPS to make some tax payments and filings for you.

Even if you have a payroll service, it's a good idea to enroll in EFTPS, so you can check on payments they make for you and to make it easy to change payroll service companies.

Is the EFTPS System Secure?

When you sign up, you use your Employer ID or Taxpayer ID number and you have a PIN number. Then you set up a password for using the system. The IRS says, "You can be assured your information is protected and that no one has access to your account unless you authorize it." 

 What's the Difference Between EFTPS and E-File? 

Simply stated, EFTPS is for making tax payments. E-file is for submitting tax returns (which might also include making tax payments). EFTPS is part of the E-file system of the IRS. 

The IRS has an EFTPS Guide to Getting Started with more information on how the system works and details on how to enroll. 

Article Sources

  1. IRS. "Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). Accessed April 12, 2020.

  2. IRS. "Electronic Federal Tax Payment System – A Guide to Getting Started." Page 2. Accessed April 13, 2020.

  3. IRS. "EFTPS: The Electronic Federal Tax Payment System." Accessed April 13, 2020.