IRS to launch online tax payment system for businesses

The U.S. Department of Treasury and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service are about to launch a Web-based version of the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), allowing businesses to pay federal taxes online.

The system, slated to be unveiled tomorrow, updates the current electronic-payment system, which requires users to pay their taxes using special software and a modem to dial in to the treasury’s computer system. The IRS said the new system represents another step in its ongoing effort to improve services for taxpayers.

The new version, EFTPS-Online, will allow businesses to enroll in the system, securely make federal tax payments and receive electronic payment histories via the Internet. An IRS spokesman noted that the new system only pertains to paying taxes, not filing returns.

The IRS is hoping that the new system will encourage more companies to pay taxes electronically.

Businesses in the U.S. and American businesses in other countries, as well as individual taxpayers who are required to make estimated quarterly payments, are eligible to use the system. Taxpayers will be able schedule future payments via the Web, as well as cancel payments, if necessary. Online help and how-to pages with step-by-step instructions will be available.

The IRS said the site would use the strongest available security features and encryption technology to ensure privacy.

According to the IRS, some 3.5 million businesses use the current system every week. The IRS has collected US$5.5 trillion in taxes since the EFTPS was first implemented in November 1996.