I just realized that I missed the last estimated tax for the 2020 year. There is no 2020 option on the "Tax Period for Payment" field on the IRS "Direct Pay" site. What I can do? Is there a place I can pay my 2020 fourth-quarter estimated tax?

  • I don't think that it matters because the IRS records the date that they receive your payment and if it's late, such is life. Even if you could find a 4th payment form and submitted payment, it would still be late. I pay estimateds as trading income accrues. Sometimes I skip a quarter. And sometimes I have made 2 payments in a subsequent quarter so I just cross out the date on the unused earlier form and submitted it for a later quarter. It made no difference. Date received by the IRS determined whether I was on time or late. – Bob Baerker Feb 6 at 16:48
  • @BobBaerker: But the year that it's a payment for matters. If you make a 2021 estimated payment, it would not help your 2020 taxes. – user102008 Feb 6 at 19:30
  • After forgetting to pay 4th quarter, I've sent payments in January of the following year for the previous year and they were credited for the previous year. The IRS never prevented me from using the late payment in the following year for the previous year. Use a first quarter 2021 form, cross out the date and write in 2020. And the sure fire correct answer is speak to an accountant. – Bob Baerker Feb 6 at 20:01
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    Don't worry about it. Do your 2020 taxes and send in the difference. The IRS will calculate a fee for interest owed on the balance and send you a bill, something like 1/2 of 1%, it isn't that bad unless you owe millions. – Ron Beyer Feb 7 at 0:37
  • @BobBaerker: There's probably no question that the OP can use the 2020 1040ES paper form to pay the 2020 4th quarter estimated taxes. The OP's question is about the online payment, which no longer has the 2020 option for estimated taxes. – user102008 Feb 7 at 18:19

I haven't done this myself, but the advice I have heard is choose 'Extension' as the reason, and apply payment to Form 4868. The reason is because there is a specific spot to list this payment (Form 1040, Schedule 3, line 9). You're automatically granted the 6-month extension, but you're under no obligation to use it.

Of course, as others have said, we're talking about 3 percent interest for a few months, which is likely to be minimal. But if you want to make a payment, that's how I'd do it.

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