As you may already know, the IRS will never call or email you. If you are willing to endure possibly long waits on hold, the IRS can be reached by phone. Most of the communication you will ever encounter with the Internal Revenue service still comes via postal mail or by fax. The IRS does this of course because it simply too risky to move to a full digital platform. The bottom line is there are too many scams and hackers lurking in the vast space of the web, so don’t expect the paper trail of postal mail communication to end anytime soon.
However, the IRS, like even the most institutions, is still subject to change. It was announced recently that they are now offering email notifications for tax payments. The new email feature allows taxpayers to get notifications in their personal email accounts. Users can now receive email notifications when making tax payments through the IRS Direct Pay or the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System.
How can I opt in to the tax payment email notification service?
The process to opt into the new system is straightforward and easy. First, tax clients using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) can opt in when they enroll for the first time or update their enrollments by choosing the option to receive email notifications. If you are not enrolled in the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, please click here to visit the IRS site directly.
You should also have an option to opt in when making a payment to the IRS through a payroll service provider. Once opted in, you should receive an email notification for all payments made through ETFPS, including payments made through your payroll service provider. In addition, individuals that use Direct Pay also have option to receive email notifications each time they make a payment.
Will opting into this service make me vulnerable to phishing scams?
This is a valid concern for many individuals since tax phishing scams have been on the rise in recent years. You may have heard at some point that the IRS will never call or email you directly. This remains true for the most part. In this case, the IRS will only send you a direct email when you make a payment through EFTPS or Direct Pay. Will this service make you more vulnerable to phising scams? Probably not, but one can never be too sure. Anytime we perform actions electronically, we are always putting ourselves at some level of risk.
To protect taxpayers, the IRS has announced that there are absolutely no web links within their email notifications. If you do see a link in an email notification form the IRS, you can be sure that it is part of a phishing scam. The IRS is advising taxpayers not to click any sort of link and immediately delete any suspicious looking emails they receive upon making a tax payment. You can also take this one step further and report such emails directly the IRS. Click here to find out more about reporting suspicious activity to the IRS. Remember that reporting phishing scams to the IRS makes everyone, including yourself, less vulnerable to such scams in the long run.
Important points to remember
- The IRS will never call or email you directly
- The IRS will only send you email if you make a direct payment through Direct Pay or the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTP)
- The IRS can be reached by phone if you are willing to endure long waits
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