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How can a taxpayer confirm that the IRS has received a payment, other than finding out that they owe penalties and interest somewhere down the line?

Assume the payment instrument (money order) is prepaid and would not debit an account like an ACH, check, debit, or credit transaction would.

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Researching more, would any variation of Form 4506/-T/-EZ help on this schedule?

It would list the information the IRS received for the tax return (at least confirming that they received it) although it doesn't specify that it would indicate whether or not a payment has been remitted. This could be relevant if the payment were sent with the return but does not solve the problem if the return were sent separately from the payment or if the return were e-filed and payment mailed separately.

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    Calling and asking is not an option? – littleadv Apr 21 '16 at 5:24
  • USPS Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested is about $5 – user662852 Apr 21 '16 at 10:58
  • @littleadv: No idea if it is. Possibly. I wonder what kind of timeline we'd be looking at to reasonably call though. A week for the mail to get there? More time for processing? According to the IRS website, they process payments as they receive them (not when they actually go through your return, though presumably that's automated by now anyway) – arcyqwerty Apr 21 '16 at 14:53
  • @user662852 Perhaps a good idea for next time. Is there a more reliable way to ensure the payment was processed successfully? (i.e. didn't bounce) – arcyqwerty Apr 21 '16 at 14:54
  • I assume you're familiar with eftps.gov? – barrycarter Apr 21 '16 at 21:41
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I assume you kept the receipt for your money order, in which case there's no reason you can't call the issuer and find out if the money order has been posted for payment.

It does beg the question as to why you didn't send it registered mail or by some other means which would allow you to at least verify it was received by the IRS.

As someone else mentioned, why can't you simply call the IRS and ask them if the money order was received and applied?

  • There's an automated line to check money order status. Registered mail could confirm delivery but doesn't confirm that the instrument was cashed and applied correctly. It's more of a theoretical question as to whether the IRS offers any way to actually track tax payments in general. – arcyqwerty Jul 5 '16 at 5:50

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