The Internal Revenue Service requires most people who are self-employed and those who set up corporations to make estimated tax payments. These payments include income tax, self-employment tax and the alternative minimum tax, and are due four times a year on a quarterly basis. Underpaying estimated taxes or missing a quarterly payment can result in a penalty, which is why it’s important for anyone who falls under these IRS guidelines to make timely payments. The IRS recommends that individuals and corporations pay their estimated taxes using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System.

Enrolling in EFTPS

The EFTPS is a free service provided by the U.S. Department of Treasury. It’s the easiest, quickest and most convenient way for corporations to submit their estimated taxes. If you own a corporation, you must first enroll to use the service by visiting the EFTPS website. You’ll need to enter your Employer Identification Number, business name, business phone and your own personal contact information. You have two payment options: authorizing a transaction yourself through a bank account or authorizing a financial institution to pay on your behalf. After you’ve completed the enrollment process, it takes five to seven business days before you receive a personal identification number through the mail. You can’t submit your payments online until you receive that PIN.

Submitting Payment Through EFTPS

Once you’ve received your PIN, log onto the EFTPS payment page. Enter your EIN, your PIN and your internet password. Log in to the payment system and select tax form 1120, which is the form to pay estimated taxes for a corporation. Select the “Federal Tax Deposit” option to indicate the tax payment is for estimated taxes. Enter the payment amount and the date you want the funds taken out of your bank account, and then submit the payment. The payment must be submitted before 8 p.m. Eastern time to apply the next business day, and you must schedule payments by 8 p.m. Eastern time the day prior to the due date or the IRS will consider the payment late. The system allows you to schedule payments 120 days in advance.

Alternate Methods of Submitting Payments

If you don’t want to enroll with EFTPS, you can also submit your estimated taxes through electronic funds withdrawal when you file your taxes using tax preparation software or through a tax professional. You can also pay your estimated taxes through the mail by writing a check, money order or cashier’s check to the U.S. Treasury. Check the IRS website to ensure that you mail your payment to the proper address. The U.S. postmark on your payment envelope must be on or prior to the due date for the IRS to consider the payment timely.