How to Write a Check to Pay Federal Income Tax

Make sure your social security number is on your check.

When the time comes to pay your federal income tax, you will want to make sure that the check is properly filled out. Problems with a check could mean a delay in registering your payment, and even a penalty from the IRS if a correctly written check is not received by a tax deadline. In addition to the usual features of the check such as payee, date and amount, you will need to put your social security number on the check. Use a pen with blue or black ink.

Step 1

Fill out the current date on the check, on the upper right-hand corner. You can write it out (for example, "March 19, 2009") or use the abbreviated style with slash marks ("3/19/2009"). In the U.S., unlike some other countries, the month comes first, followed by the day and year.

Step 2

Make the check payable to the "United States Treasury," the payee.

Step 3

Fill out the amount of the check numerically to the right of the payee, under the date. Use the decimal format (for example, "$235.00"). Avoid fractions or other numerical formats.

Step 4

Write out the amount of the check under the payee. You can use a fraction here (for example, "Two hundred thirty-five and 00/100").

Step 5

Sign the check on the lower right.

Step 6

Enter what form and year the payment is for in the memo field of the check, along with your social security number. For instance, if you are filing a 1040A form, write "2009 Form 1040A," followed by your social security number. If more than one person is listed on the return, use the social security number of the first person listed.

Tip

Your payment should be sent to your regional IRS office. Consult the reference below to determine, based on your state, which address to use.

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