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The collection process


• If you do not pay your tax in full when you file your tax return, you will receive a bill for the amount you owe. This bill starts the collection process, which continues until your account is satisfied or until the IRS may no longer legally collect the tax; for example, when the time or period for collection expires.


 • The first notice you receive will be a letter that explains the balance due and demands payment in full. It will include the amount of the tax, plus any penalties and interest accrued on your unpaid balance from the date the tax was due.

IRS electronic payment options, available on our Payments page and the IRS2Go app, are the best way for you to pay federal taxes. Paying electronically is a convenient way to make tax payments. You can make electronic payments online, by phone, or from a mobile device. Paying electronically is safe and secure, and the IRS uses the latest encryption technology. You can schedule your payment in advance, and you will receive confirmation after it’s submitted. It’s quick, easy, secure, and much faster than mailing in a check or money order.


• Direct Pay is a secure service you can use to pay your current and prior year 1040 series tax returns and more. Pay directly from your checking or savings account at no cost to you. After you complete five easy steps, you’ll receive instant confirmation that your payment has been submitted. With Direct Pay, you can use the "Look Up a Payment" feature to view your payment status. You can modify or cancel your payment there until two business days before your scheduled payment date. However, if you decide to pay by mail, enclose a check or money order with a copy of your notice. Make it payable to the United States Treasury and provide your name, address, daytime phone number, SSN, tax period, and form number (2015 Form 1040) on the front of your payment.


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