It happens, you owe the IRS. What do you do? You can add a check or money order to your paper filed return (Please copy the money order and keep the stub safe.) If you e-filed your return, you should have been given a voucher to mail with your payment. And do put your SSN on the check/MO. You can also pay your balance due with a credit/debit card. The IRS has a list of credit card processors on their web site. A word of warning, you will be charged a processing fee by the processor. Many tax software programs will allow you to set up a debit from your bank account through the program. You can schedule the date you want the money to come out. But check to see what fees they might be adding to your balance due.
What if you can’t pay your balance due? First, file your return. This stops the failure to file penalty. The IRS has an installment payment program that allows you to stretch out your payments. You can use their online payment agreement to apply for it. You can do it online if you owe less than $50,000 in tax, penalties and interest. Not comfortable with the online process? You can file form 9465. Either way, you will see an application fee added to your balance. The fee will depend on how you chose to pay (the IRS prefers direct debit and cuts the fee if you chose that option) and you may qualify for the low income fee. As you set the monthly payment amount, remember that interest and penalties will continue to build so you want to pay off your balance as soon as you can. If you think you can pay your balance due off in a few months (2 to 4), you can work out a short term plan. The advantage is that there is no fee and the interest and penalties can be lower. This plan is online too.
One warning – you are not setting up a revolving tax payment plan. As part of the installment agreements you sign, you agree to pay off any future balance dues until the installment agreement is paid off. So, if you set up an installment agreement for your 2012 balance due and come April 2014 you owe again on your 2013 taxes, you have to pay off that balance due in full or lose the installment agreement.
The IRS wants your money and they’ve given us a lot of ways to pay them. No matter which you choose, file your taxes on time and save yourself that penalty.