What Are the Dangers of Using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS)?

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What Are the Dangers of Using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS)?

The Electronic Federal Tax Payment System(EFTPS) is a free tax payment service offered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to help individual and business taxpayers pay their federal taxes electronically. To use the service, you must first enroll online by entering your taxpayer identification number (your employer identification number (EIN) if you’re enrolling as a business, or your Social Security Number (SSN) if you’re enrolling as an individual), your bankaccount information,and your name and address as they appear on your IRSdocuments. Approximately one week after you enroll online, you will receive a PIN (personal identification number) in the mailyou can use to complete your online registration and begin making payments.

Key Takeaways

  • The Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) is a 24-hour service offered by the United States Department of the Treasury that enables taxpayers to pay their taxes by phone or online.
  • While EFTPS employs secure servers, criminals may attempt to get users’ personal information via phishing schemes.
  • In the past, bogus emails were sent to EFTPS customers, stating that their identity numbers had been rejected or asking them to click on an embedded link to modify their personal information.
  • Instead, such a link planted malware on consumers’ computers and was used to steal financial information.

Scams Affecting the EFTPS

One of the possible risks of utilizing theEFTPSsystem is phishing schemes. These frauds take place outside of the EFTPS website. In 2010, for example, bogus emails with the subject line: Your Federal Tax Payment ID: 010363124 has been denied circulated. A link in the email asked users to update their information, but instead it installed malware that was used to steal their online banking information.

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According to the IRS website, “The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messaging, or social media platforms in order to obtain personal or financial information. Requests for PIN numbers, passwords, or similar access details for credit cards, banks, or other financial accounts fall under this category. All unsolicited email purporting to be from the IRS or an IRS-related function should be reported to [email protected]

Protecting Sensitive Information

The EFTPS website safeguards sensitive tax payment data using “firewalls and enforced internal security rules to guarantee you and only you may make, cancel, and enquire about your tax payments.” TheEFTPSwebsite states that “Every safe contact involvingEFTPSonline requires user identity and verification. EFTPSonline uses each taxpayer’s Taxpayer Identification Number (EIN or SSN), Personal Identification Number (PIN), and Internet password to identify and authenticate him or her. Many of the functionalities of EFTPSonline may be inaccessible without these important pieces of information.”

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