Am I giving IRS access to my checking account?

Dear Dave,

Will paying my taxes online give the government electronic access to my checking account?

Ashley

Dear Ashley,

If you use your checking account, of course they will have the ability to withdraw that money from your account. I believe I know where you’re going with this question, and I think you may be a little confused about my stance on this sort of thing.

There’s nothing wrong with certain entities having access to your checking account. I use electronic bill pay for utilities, mutual fund contributions and things like that all the time. The only time I warn people against giving electronic access to their bank accounts is when they’re dealing with collectors over a bad debt. The government – even the IRS – isn’t known for coming in and randomly taking money out of people’s accounts.

Collectors, on the other hand, do it all the time.

You’re

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