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. I am only 17 years old. I don't have a job or pay taxes. Can I contribute to an IRA?

    You must have earned income (eligible compensation) to be eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA. Individuals who are eligible ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. When should my tax refund arrive?

    More than 90% of income-tax refunds arrive in less than three weeks, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). However, ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How Long Should I Keep My Tax Records?

    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has some hard and fast rules regarding how long taxpayers should keep their tax records. As ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Are catch-up contributions included in the 415 limit?

    Unlike regular employee deferrals, catch-up contributions are not included in the 415 limit. While there is an annual limit ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Are personal loans tax deductible?

    Interest paid on personal loans is not tax deductible. If you take out a loan to buy a car for personal use or to cover other ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Can a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) be used for Lasik?

    The owner of a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) can use money from the account on various eye surgery procedures, including ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Taxes

    Will You Pay Taxes During Retirement?

    Income taxes are one of the things that's certain in life. We'll explain the different tax situations when you retire.
  2. Taxes

    How To Pay Taxes If You're Overseas

    Here is a step by step guide to paying taxes if you are a U.S. citizen living overseas.
  3. Taxes

    5 Groups That Don't Pay Taxes

    Now that you've paid your share, find out who didn't have to pay taxes this year.
  4. Investing News

    Obama Floats $10 a Barrel Oil Tax

    President Obama intends to propose a $10 a barrel tax on oil; consumers might have to cough up 25 cents more per gallon.
  5. Taxes

    Confused About Estimated Tax Deadlines for 2016?

    If you run a business or have investment income, pay attention to this year's estimated tax deadlines. Here are the details, and what's new for 2016.
  6. Retirement

    Retirement Plan Tax Prep Checklist

    Here's a list of items you need to have in order by tax time, including paying attention to those pesky required minimum distributions.
  7. Economics

    Why Enron Collapsed

    Enron’s collapse is a classic example of greed gone wrong.
  8. Markets

    The (Expected) Market Impact of the 2016 Election

    With primary season upon us, investor attention is beginning to turn to the upcoming U.S. presidential election.
  9. Insurance

    Jan. 31 is Sunday: Almost No Time to Duck Obamacare Penalty

    If you don't have health insurance, act NOW or you could owe penalties on your 2016 taxes, in addition to this year's.
  10. Fundamental Analysis

    5 Economic Changes to Expect if a Republican Wins in 2016

    Discover the five most likely economic changes the United States can expect if a Republican wins the presidential election in 2016.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Electronic Federal Tax Payment System - EFTPS

    A service offered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury that ...
  2. Earnings Stripping

    Earnings Stripping is a commonly-used tactic by multinationals ...
  3. Skinny Down Distribution

    Skinny down distribution is corporate practice of slimming down ...
  4. Racketeering

    A fraudulent service built to serve a problem that wouldn't otherwise ...
  5. Sales Tax

    A consumption tax imposed by the government on the sale of goods ...
  6. Money Laundering

    Money laundering is the process of creating the appearance that ...
Trading Center