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Level 1

Estimated Tax Payment by Debit/Credit Card

I need to pay estimated tax. I started to work as self-employed in July 2021, so it is the first time I will do it. Also, I never filed any U.S. tax return before. Can I pay estimated tax online? I tried IRS Direct Pay but it needs to identify me using my previous year tax return which I do not have. However, while trying to pay using credit/debit card (e.g. through PayUSAtax), it doesn't ask for the identification using previous year tax return. Is this a way to go? Or should I sent a money order to IRS instead?

3 Replies
Level 8

Estimated Tax Payment by Debit/Credit Card

Online payment methods are preferred. The IRS mail is backed up due to COVID-19. Additionally, online payments will give you a receipt that you can show the IRS if they should "lose" your payment.

Paying Your Taxes


Certified mail

If you mail anything to the IRS, send it by certified mail with return receipt so you have proof that your payment was received. You can also stop by your local IRS office and make a noncash payment in person  without an appointment.


Don't forget your state

If you live in a state with an income tax, you may wish to may state estimated tax payments. TurboTax has links to all state tax websites at How do I track my state refund?

Level 15

Estimated Tax Payment by Debit/Credit Card

Since you cannot set up an account on the IRS site due to lack of prior filings then you can use a third party directly if you wish ... this is the same party you would use on the IRS site anyway and you get the same receipt.  However,  be aware that there is a cost involved when using a CC where as mailing a check is free.  

Level 15

Estimated Tax Payment by Debit/Credit Card

Also ... FYI ... an estimate is not required since you have never filed in the past then you are exempt from any penalties on the return although you will still owe the taxes.  This is known as the safe harbor rule. 

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