Until this year, the online services of the US Tax Administration (
IRS ) remained limited. The coronavirus crisis has accelerated the implementation of a more diversified online platform to allow taxpayers to consult their information online. Below the main services available.

How to access the status of your tax refund

To use this service, you will need to identify yourself by entering your tax number (
SSN or ITIN), your filing status and the amount of the refund showing on your tax return. The tool will display progress in 3 phases: “return received”, “refund approved”, and “refund sent”. The tool is updated every 24 hours so there is no need to check the status more often.

Link to consult your refund status:

How to access your tax account online

This access allows you to consult the tax to be paid, the history of your payments and the last tax return filed. With this service, you will also be able to obtain a copy of your ta return (in summary format "
transcript  ").

Link to create an IRS online account:

How to pay your federal tax electronically

The services below allow you to pay your tax electronically.

1 / Payment by "
Direct Pay"

Introduced in 2015, Direct Pay is a free online tool that allows individuals to securely pay income taxes and make estimated tax payments or extension payments directly from a checking or savings account without any fees. To use Direct Pay, you will need to have an old tax return handy, one filed within the past six years, to help the IRS verify your identity. You enter how much you want to pay, the payment type (annual tax bill, estimated payment, etc.) and the tax period to which the payment applies. Finally, you give the IRS your bank information. Note that the IRS won’t keep your bank information once the payment is processed so you will have to reenter all this data each time you want to make a payment.  Once you made the payment you can easily keep track of it with the confirmation number or by signing up for email notifications. You can make a same day payment or schedule a payment for up to 30 days in advance. This service allows you to pay your tax with a checking account for free. The system even accepts settlement through a foreign bank account if the foreign bank is affiliated with a US bank and has a 9-digit routing code. However the system does not accept international SWIFT codes.

Link for payment by Direct Pay:

2 / Payment by card

Paying with a card is an option, but it's an expensive one. While a credit card can be a convenient source for cash, make sure you understand all the ways it will cost you. The IRS has entered into partnerships with private-sector businesses to make tax e-payments as easy and appealing as possible. IRS-approved plastic and digital processors are listed on the IRS website (link below). American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa are among the credit cards accepted for payments.  Each company has its own fee schedule, with credit card fees up to 2% of your tax bill and debit card fees up to $3.95 per transaction. Additional “convenience fees” are tacked on in some cases. You can pay by internet, phone, or mobile device your taxes using a credit or debit card.

Link for payment by card:

3 / Payment by "”

Another way to avoid fees when paying your taxes is by using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). It is a free service available year-round.  You must, however, enroll and get a personal identification number and password to use it. This activation can take up to 7 days. To register, you will need a bank account, social security number or employer identification number, and a mailing address. You must use the mailing address that the IRS has on file, as they will mail you a PIN in about a week.  Once you are enrolled, it is a fast system:  you can make a tax payment in minutes. EFTPS is also a secure system: online payments require three unique pieces of information for authentication: an employer identification number (
EIN) or social security number (SSN); a personal identification number (PIN); and an Internet password. With EFTPS you can schedule a current day tax payment, a future payment (up to 365 days), a recurring payment as well as payment for prior, current and future tax years both for individuals and for businesses.

Link to create an eftps account:

 4/ Pay your taxes from outside the US with a wire

Payments of U.S. tax must be remitted to the IRS in U.S. dollars. International taxpayers who do not have a U.S. bank account may transfer funds from their foreign bank account directly to the IRS for payment of their individual or business tax liabilities. Although this method of payment is available to anyone with a foreign bank account it can be costly.  

Instructions for an International wire transfer -

Note that the above online accesses can be temporarily "out of order" when the IRS performs maintenance to secure the services. In addition, some of these accesses can be unavailable to non-residents as they do not always work with a non-resident identification number (

Should you need assistance with accessing your online tax account, do not hesitate to consult Karine Bauer, EA who - as a tax expert accredited by the tax administration - has priority tax practitioner access to the online services of the tax administration. As always, the views contained in this article are not tax or legal advice and are not a substitute for consulting with a tax professional.
Karine Bauer, EAis an Enrolled Agent licensed by the Treasury Department with unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service. She is an experienced tax professional with more than 20 years of international experience.

Bear in mind the date of this article as tax laws change over time.

Updated ; July 24th, 2020