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Note: User fee amounts referenced in this video have changed since the video was produced. Please visit and search “payment plans” to see the current fees. Using the online application and making monthly payments by direct debit is the lowest fee option.

BECKY: Hi. My name is Becky, and I work for the IRS.

Filing your return and paying what you owe on time is always best.

That way, you avoid penalties and interest.

But if you can't pay your bill in full, file on time and pay what you can.

That will keep your penalties and interest to a minimum.

And for the rest of what you owe, an IRS payment plan may be an option.

You may even be able to set it up online -- no calling the IRS and waiting to speak to a representative, no sending in a form and waiting for the IRS to get back to you.

And if you qualify, you will get immediate confirmation that your payment plan is approved.

You can use the IRS's Online Payment Agreement Application if all your returns are filed, you owe $50,000 or less, and you can pay off what you owe in 72 monthly payments or less.

Businesses that owe $25,000 or less from the current and prior calendar year and who can pay off what they owe in 24 monthly payments or less also qualify to use the online application.

In addition to monthly payment plans, you can also set up a shorter term plan to pay what you owe, and the sooner you pay off what you owe, the less your penalty and interest charges will be.

In most cases, you have two options for making your payments.

There's the old-fashioned way, sending in a check every month, or you can make your payments by direct debit from your bank account.

We encourage you to make your payments by direct debit, and in some cases, it's required.

Direct debit is more convenient, and there's less chance you'll miss a payment.

Plus, the IRS usually charges a $120 fee to set up a payment plan, but if you make your payments by direct debit, the fee is only $52, so it saves you some money.

Recent improvements to the online application have made it even faster and easier to use.

And your information is safe and secure.

So, if you need a payment plan for your taxes, visit, click the "Payments" tab, then click "Apply for an online payment agreement" to get started.

The information you need to use the online application is listed on the first page.

In addition to what you see listed, have a monthly payment amount and due date in mind.

And if you want to make your payments by direct debit, have a blank check handy so you'll be able to enter your bank routing and account numbers.

So, remember.

File on time and pay as much as you can.

That will keep your penalties and interest to a minimum.

And if you need time to pay the balance, use the IRS Online Payment Agreement Application to set up a payment plan.

Thanks for watching.

Finding Out How Much You Owe