Before you send that check off the Internal Revenue Service, as many people have to do every year, there are a few things to keep in mind.
To both protect the privacy of your bank account and spare yourself the time and headache of searching for a check that may have been misplaced somewhere between you and the IRS, follow these simple, but valuable tips.
1. Take a moment to jot down the reason for the payment on your check. Include the form number that you’re paying for and the tax year on the front of the check. For example: “balance due – 2018 Form 1040” or “2019 estimated payment.”
2. Always include a daytime phone number and Social Security number. If filing jointly, include the Social Security number of the person whose name is listed first on the tax return. If you’re paying as part of a business, include your employer identification number on the check.
3. For separate payments, always use separate checks. Include all the same pertinent information on each check when paying two or more different taxes at the same time, such as a past-due payment, an estimated tax payment and an interest payment.
Writing separate checks with the proper identifying information has multiple benefits. It makes it easier for the IRS to identify and thus credit your check(s) properly. In the event the check is improperly separated, it will be easy to track and apply to your account. It will also help ensure that your information doesn’t draw unwarranted and unwanted attention from the IRS. It’s always wise to include too much information, rather than too little. If some computer software determines your payment is late, because it inadvertently “got lost,” then you may be charged penalties for missing an IRS deadline.
As with any state tax or Internal Revenue Service matter, if you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to one of our tax advisors at Diamond & Associates, PC before sending your payment. We are here to help!