A:

The Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) is a free tax payment service offered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to help individual and business taxpayers pay their federal taxes electronically. To use the service, you must first enroll online by entering your Taxpayer Identification Number (your Employer Identification Number if you're enrolling as a business, or your Social Security Number if you're enrolling as an individual), your banking account information, and your name and address as they appear on your IRS tax documents. Approximately one week after you enroll online, you will receive a PIN (Personal Identification Number) in the mail, and you can complete your online registration and begin making payments.

Phishing scams are one of the potential dangers of using the EFTPS system. These scams occur outside of the EFTPS website. In 2010, for example, fraudulent emails targeting EFTPS users were circulated with the subject line: Your Federal Tax Payment ID: 010363124 has been rejected. A link in the email prompted recipients to update their information, but instead installed malware used to intercept their online banking transaction data.

The IRS website warns, "The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS also does not ask for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts. Recipients should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message. Instead, forward the e-mail to phishing@irs.gov."

The EFTPS website protects sensitive tax payment data by using firewalls and internal security policies to ensure that you and only you can make, cancel, and inquire about your tax payments. According to the EFTPS website, "Every secure interaction involving EFTPS online requires identification and authentication of each user. EFTPS online identifies and authenticated each taxpayer using his or her Taxpayer Identification Number, Personal Identification Number and Internet password. Without these key pieces of information, you may not use many of the functions of EFTPS online."

RELATED FAQS
  1. What are the advantages of paying your taxes with the Electronic Federal Tax Payment ...

    The Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) is a free tax payment service offered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury ... Read Answer >>
  2. What is a "phishing scam" and how can they be avoided?

    The term phishing (as in fishing for confidential information) refers to a scam that fraudulently obtains and uses an individual's ... Read Answer >>
  3. What are the most common scams regarding Social Security benefits?

    Learn about some of the most common Social Security scams that occur by phone, email and direct mail, and how to recognize ... Read Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Tech

    Cybersecurity: Protect Yourself This Tax Season

    Take a little extra time to review online communications and avoid becoming a cybercrime victim.
  2. Insights

    How to Protect Your Assets From Cyber Thieves

    Taking these precautions can keep you a step ahead of identity thieves and fraudsters.
  3. Insights

    10 Tips To Avoid Common Financial Scams

    Remember that "don't talk to strangers" rule from childhood? Well, don't wire them money either. Or fall for these other tricks.
  4. Taxes

    Know the Latest IRS Scams

    How do IRS scammers go about stealing your personal information? Their methods include hacking, malicious software and psychological manipulation.
  5. Tech

    Tips For Keeping Your Financial Data Safe Online

    Find out how to protect your personal information from phishers, scammers and thieves.
  6. Personal Finance

    Shopping Online: Convenience, Bargains And A Few Scams

    Shopping from the comfort of your couch has major benefits - and some unpleasant side effects.
  7. Investing

    5 New Phishing Scams To Watch Out For

    These five scams may seem transparent, but thousands of people fall for them annually.
  8. Tech

    How to Keep Accounts Safe From Cyber Criminals

    With the advancement of financial technology online comes the risk of criminals who try to hack your accounts. Here's how to protect yourself.
  9. Taxes

    Form 9465: Don't Pay Your Back Taxes Without It

    This form can lighten your tax load if you owe Uncle Sam.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Taxpayer Identification Number - TIN

    A number that is assigned to a tax paying businesses for identification ...
  2. Employer Identification Number - EIN

    A unique identification number that is assigned to a business ...
  3. Tax Identification Number - TIN

    As the name implies, this number is a nine-digit number used ...
  4. Personal Identification Number - PIN

    A numerical code used in many electronic financial transactions. ...
  5. Tax Liability

    The total amount of tax that an entity is legally obligated to ...
  6. Transaction Authentication Number (TAN)

    A one-time code used in the processing of online transactions.
Hot Definitions
  1. Money Market

    A segment of the financial market in which financial instruments with high liquidity and very short maturities are traded. ...
  2. Block (Bitcoin Block)

    Blocks are files where data pertaining to the Bitcoin network is permanently recorded.
  3. Fintech

    Fintech is a portmanteau of financial technology that describes an emerging financial services sector in the 21st century.
  4. Ex-Dividend

    A classification of trading shares when a declared dividend belongs to the seller rather than the buyer. A stock will be ...
  5. Debt Security

    Any debt instrument that can be bought or sold between two parties and has basic terms defined, such as notional amount (amount ...
  6. Taxable Income

    Taxable income is described as gross income or adjusted gross income minus any deductions, exemptions or other adjustments ...
Trading Center