WASHINGTON—On August 27, the Department of the Treasury processed its one billionth electronic tax payment, a milestone that illustrates Treasury’s commitment to effective use of technology and service to taxpayers.
Treasury’s Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) was launched in November 1996 and allows businesses and individuals to pay any federal tax payment electronically, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Today, EFTPS is the largest tax collection system in the world, processing more than $2 trillion per year. The service is managed by Treasury’s Financial Management Service (FMS) bureau and is operated on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Originally built to accept tax payments over the telephone, EFTPS was expanded in 2001 to process payments through EFTPS.gov, the Web site built for small businesses and individuals. In addition, tax professionals, payroll providers, and financial institutions can make payments through special EFTPS channels on behalf of their customers.
“EFTPS has gained wide acceptance among businesses and individuals,” said FMS Commissioner David A. Lebryk. “Nearly 10 million people are enrolled, and 98 percent of federal employment tax dollars move through the service.”
Businesses find the simplicity and security of EFTPS the preferred way to pay their federal taxes. So far in fiscal year 2010, EFTPS volume has increased by nearly 7.2 million payments, or nearly 8 percent, to 101.3 million items totaling nearly $1.82 trillion. By contrast, the number of paper transactions made by U.S. employers decreased by 4.5 million items, a 23 percent decline.
“The taxpayer is the real winner,” Lebryk said. “IRS research shows that employers are 31 times less likely to make an error that results in a penalty or fee if they use EFTPS instead of paper for their payments.”
Using EFTPS benefits taxpayers in many ways:
• EFTPS is available 24 hours a day, year-round, from anywhere there’s a phone—touchtone or rotary dial—or Internet connection.
• U.S.-based live-operator customer support is available via toll-free phone numbers 24 hours a day, year-round.
• Business payments can be scheduled up to 120 days in advance; individual payments, 365 days in advance.
• Users receive a printable acknowledgment number as soon as each payment is scheduled.
• Every secure transaction at EFTPS.gov requires three pieces of authentication—an Employer Identification Number or Social Security Number; a Personal Identification Number; and an Internet password. The phone channel requires both the EIN/SSN and the PIN.