I wound up owing a small amount of money on my federal tax return this year. Rather than attaching a payment, I decided to pay online immediately. But now I'm a bit confused about where to send my tax return.

There isn't a payment attached, but I'm not expecting a refund - so should I send it to the 'no payment attached' address, or to the 'payment attached' address for my state?

  • 3
    The instructions on the IRS website are unequivocal: if "you are not enclosing a payment, then use this address," and if "you are enclosing a payment, then use this address." What do you find unclear about these instructions, or what makes you suspect that the instructions on the IRS website are wrong? – Tanner Swett Feb 25 at 3:57
  • If a tax-return has a cheque/check attached, someone has to detach it and process it. If all returns went to the same address, they would have to sort them into two piles (with/without check). The point of having separate addresses is that the public do this sorting for them. – TripeHound Feb 25 at 7:46
  • @TannerSwett This is my first time submitting a tax return where I owe money, so having never done this before, I don't want to get it wrong and send it to the wrong location. – Zibbobz Feb 25 at 15:29
  • 1
    Too late now, but next time, just use the Free Fillable Forms. – jamesqf Feb 25 at 17:39
  • @jamesqf Would that really have helped, in a situation where the issue is not filling the forms but knowing where to send the form once filled? – Zibbobz Feb 25 at 19:29

I am going to quote from the IRS website. I picked Virginia (my state).

These Where to File addresses are to be used ONLY by TAXPAYERS AND TAX PROFESSIONALS filing individual federal tax returns in Virginia during Calendar Year 2020.

If you live in VIRGINIA ... 

and you are filing a Form ... and you ARE NOT ENCLOSING  and you ARE ENCLOSING
                              A PAYMENT,                 A PAYMENT,
                              then use this address...   then use this address...

1040                          Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service
                              Internal Revenue Service   P.O. Box 931000
                              Kansas City, MO 64999-0002 Louisville, KY

Since you are not enclosing a payment, use the first address. They just want to know if they are going to be processing an attached check. If you send it to the wrong one it might delay the processing of your forms.

To pick your state start here: Where to File Paper Tax Returns With or Without a Payment

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