But that often means running around to post offices just before they close so we can get things postmarked. Or, often, when it comes to taxes, having to pay extra for proof of delivery so we can avoid penalties.
Or, to ensure that you meet a payment deadline, you use one of the online tax payment services, like OfficialPayments.com - which charge you a charming"convenience fee" of 2% or more of your payment.
OR, you end up missing the deadline and paying late fees to IRS. Some of those can be pretty costly. (On late payroll deposits - it's 10$!)
Is this really the best use of your time and your money?
You can save all that time and money by simply joining IRS's Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS)
Using this system, you can transfer money from your bank account at the last minute to pay your payroll taxes.
You won't have to run to the bank.
You won't have to pay for overnight shipping.
You won't have to pay extra to get a receipt.
You simply initiate the payment the day before the tax is due. You get a time-stamped receipt, in effect, based on the electronic date and time of your transaction. It's called an EFT Acknowledgement Number.
Another benefit I think you'll like. For those of you who have a tendency to forget what taxes you paid, or you know the date and amount, but didn't note the year or type of tax....all you have to do is log into your account and, voila! The data is right there.
Didn't bring the information to your tax pro's office? No prob. Just log in from his or her office. The information is at your fingertips. Kind of fun, actually. It's like having POWER!
And you've incurred no fees. No "convenience fees", no wire transfer fees. And no extra staff time costs to run to the post office, and risk a traffic accident or...
You can pay any of your business taxes.
In fact you can use EFTPS to make your quarterly estimated payments. You can schedule all of them for the whole year. But, what's if, when that day comes you don't have the money? Or you're income is down, and your estimated payments should be smaller? Just log in 48 hours before the payment is due - and cancel it - or change it. Simple.
Anyone can sign up. You don't have to be a business.
Frankly, I don't see any reason to be running up"convenience fees" on credit cards. They're not really convenient. In fact, they're a waste of money.
If you're in business and have to pay payroll taxes, corporate taxes or self-employment taxes - sign up today.
If you're not in business, but have to make estimated payments on your investment income, or have prior year taxes to pay, or regularly get notices about adjustments, changes or corrections to your account, set a personal EFTPS account. IRS will welcome you.
Don't worry about this being part of IRS's system. It's not a sinister thing. As Martha would say,"It's a good thing."
[BONUS: Tim Winship at frequentflier.com tells me that some debit cards or
related bank accounts, will pay you bonus points or miles when you use them. He can tell you which ones.