How Does One Check If One Owes IRS Back Taxes?


Quick Answer

People can check to see if they owe the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) taxes by calling the toll-free number for the IRS, which is (800) 829-1040. People can also visit a local IRS office.

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How Does One Check If One Owes IRS Back Taxes?
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Full Answer

While people can take initiative to inquire about back taxes owed to the IRS, the IRS will also take action to collect taxes from people who owe money. Individuals who owe back taxes can make payments to the IRS with a check, credit card, debit card, electronic funds transfer or money order. If a person cannot pay all of the funds owed to the IRS upfront, he or she can ask for a payment plan to pay off the taxes in increments. People can do this by filling out a form called the Form 9465, which is an Installment Agreement Request, according to the IRS website.

Options for Paying Back Taxes

While many taxpayers get a tax refund at the end of the year, some taxpayers end up owing the IRS money. To accommodate their needs, the IRS has several options available for people to repay the money that they owe. Once people receive a notice from the IRS that they owe money, they can pay that amount quickly and upfront with a tax bill payment. This payment can be made via cash, cashier's check, regular check or money order. If people cannot pay the full amount owed to the IRS, they should consider getting a loan, according to the IRS website. With a loan, people will quite often face a lower interest rate than if they were to pay the back taxes back in regular increments. Additionally, people who get a loan will be able to bypass the fees and penalties associated with drawing out back tax payments for a long period of time.

Making Payments Online

To make it easy for people to repay back taxes owed, the IRS has an electronic system for collecting taxes from people who owe money. People who owe the IRS fees of $25,000 or less can usually make those payments electronically. To do so, they submit an Online Payment Agreement. People who owe more than $25,000 in back taxes may also be able to submit their information electronically. To do so, however, they must complete a form called the Form 433F, which is also called the Collection Information Statement. Once the IRS receives a request, it usually responds within 30 days. The IRS will often charge a fee for its services, totaling $105, if a person's plan is approved, as of November 2017. People can have their fees reduced by a significant amount, usually by $52, by electing to have their fees automatically deducted each month from their bank account. Taxpayers can also reduce the amount of taxes that they owe by adjusting their tax payments on a W-4 form, according to the IRS. In doing this, people increase the amount of taxes that are withheld in each paycheck, which ultimately lets them repay back taxes in a shorter period of time.

In addition to calling the IRS phone number or visiting a local IRS office, taxpayers often find the information that they need online through the IRS's website. People can take advantage of tools like online calculators to determine how their back tax payments factor into the larger picture of their financial plans. Taxpayers can make adjustments to their tax payments as necessary based on those calculations.

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