What is Accessibility?
Accessibility means ensuring that access to information is available to the widest possible audience.
Direct Pay Accessibility Features
IRS Direct Pay has implemented numerous accessibility features in compliance with federal regulations.
Direct Pay Known Accessibility Deficiencies
List of known Accessibility issues.
Change Text Size
Hints for increasing or decreasing the font size on the IRS Direct Pay web application.
What is Accessibility?
The U.S. Department of the Treasury is committed to providing access to our web pages and applications addressing usability issues for individuals with disabilities. To meet this commitment, we designed Direct Pay to comply with the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 794) and the accessibility standards issued by the Access Board.
Section 508 requires that individuals with disabilities, who are members of the public seeking information or services from us, have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to that provided to the public who are not individuals with disabilities. The pages on this web application have been reviewed and revised to accommodate individuals with disabilities. In addition, every effort has been made to ensure the highest level of usability in accordance with best industry practices. More information on Section 508 and the technical standards can be found here www.section508.gov.
Direct Pay Accessibility Features
Some of the accessibility features of the Direct Pay application are listed below.
- Text descriptions for images and pictures: When the mouse pointer or pointer alternative moves over an image, a small window pops up to give users a description of the image. This description is also provided to users who are using screen readers to access information on the page.
- Style sheets to format page content: The content in this Web application is formatted using cascading style sheets. This allows users to disable the formatting provided by the application and apply their own formatting if they choose. Style sheets are disabled within an internet browser's settings or preferences options.
- Font size options: The latest version of several Web browsers allows users to easily increase the font size for easier readability. Hold down the Ctrl key (Command key on a Macintosh) and press the + (plus) key. You can also decrease the font size by holding down the Ctrl or Command key and pressing the - (minus) key.
- Direct linking for screen reader navigation: This application provides direct links to the main sections of each page for users using screen readers. Screen readers tend to read pages from left to right and from top to bottom. The pages in IRS Direct Pay provide internal bookmarks so that screen reader users can jump directly to specific sections of the page. This feature is referred to as a navigation menu bypass.
- IRS Direct Pay supports the following browsers:
- Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 7
- Chrome 26 (or higher) on Windows 7
IRS Direct Pay will continue to make content accessible for users using assistive technology in an effort to serve the needs of all who visit our application.
For users who are blind or who have visual impairments, the IRS Direct Pay application was designed to be accessible with most industry-standard screen readers. If you are having a problem accessing our web application, please submit a comment.
Some of the software that supports aspects of IRS Direct Pay is licensed under an Apache license agreement.
Direct Pay Known Accessibility Deficiencies
Error Notification and Handling
Direct Pay is using the following forms to make or schedule a tax payment: Tax Information, Verify Identity, Payment, Review and Sign. An on-screen prompt is used to alert users of errors, warnings and other notifications that are of importance to a specific transaction. Alert prompts instruct users to return to the top of the page for more detailed information.
Alerts are provided for the following conditions:
Errors: Errors or omissions were made and must be corrected before the user can continue the process.
Warnings: These vary according to context, but alert the user to potential problems related to the data entered or selections made.
Screen reader users should follow this sequence when responding to alert prompts:
- Read the generic alert message completely.
- The cursor is positioned inside the field. Since the specific error or warning is not immediately read by JAWS screen reader, use the following JAWS Commands: Say Line (INSERT+UP ARROW) or Say All (INSERT+DOWN ARROW) to get to the error/warning description, or use Ctrl + Home to go to the top of the page.
- The user can optionally address single or multiple errors on the form. However, many users prefer to address one error at a time and then use the method above to deal with the next error on the list.
- After completing all errors, re-submit the page. If there are any new errors on the page, you will be notified in the same manner.
The calendar modal that is located next to the Payment Date field on “Your Payment Information” page allows the user to select a date to process their payment. The calendar provides access to the Assistive Technology users that use voice dictation software, screen reader technology and magnification software even though they may experience inconsistent behavior for selected dates, focus or color contrast depending on the platform they use. To remedy this, the application provides a fully accessible date field next to the calendar in which the users can enter their payment date.
Keyboard users need to press the arrow keys to navigate by day, Page Up and Page Down to navigate by month, or Escape to cancel.
Social Security Number (SSN) field
On every page that contains a Social Security Number field, keyboard users may accidentally delete already populated Social Security number when they use SHIFT + Tab keys combination.
In Direct Pay Scheduled Payment Confirmation Email in the Outlook email application, JAWS Insert+F3 command lists unlabeled paragraphs in the Paragraph list.
There are multiple popup windows or dialogue boxes that are used throughout the site. Some are used for information purposes, others require user action. In order to read the content of the modal window, JAWS version 13 users need to do the following steps:
- Toggle the Virtual Cursor On by pressing INSERT+Z.
- Use UP/DOWN Arrows to read the text inside the modal window.
- Tab to the Close Modal button and press ENTER.
The popup window for Session Timeout Warning has a “Close” (X) button that will not extend the session and works similar to the “Cancel” button. In order to extend the session you must click on the “OK” button.
On multiple pages, when modal windows are opened and the user selects “Close” (X) button to dismiss it, JAWS cursor goes up to Skip Navigation link, the page title is not announced.
JAWS 13 and ZoomText have a deficiency of not reading the text of the popup windows for the Privacy Act and the Paperwork Reduction Act in full. The recommended workaround is to use Zoom Text’s AppReader or DocReader feature.
To start and operate ZoomText AppReader:
- Open the popup window. Press the AppReader hotkey: ALT + SHIFT + A, or on ZoomText's Reader toolbar, click the AppRdr button. AppReader begins reading from the current text cursor position.
- To start and stop reading, press ENTER or click the mouse. When using the mouse, you can resume reading from a new location by clicking on the word where you wish to read.
- To exit AppReader, right-click or press ESC.
Dragon Naturally Speaking
For the Dragon Naturally Speaking version 11.5 users certain page controls work with the MouseGrid command only:
- Calendar Popup on the Payment Page
- Privacy Act Link on the Verify Identity Page
- Select Reason for Payment Select Box
On Tax Information Page “Apply Payment To” and “Reason for Payment” Modal windows will work with the “Tab” Command and the user needs to “Press Enter” to open/close accordion to read the text.
On the Verify Identity Page Dragon’s Voice Command “Click Continue” provides the option to choose from 2 Continue buttons, although visually there is only one Continue button on the page. Similarly, JAWS command INSERT + CTRL + B lists 2 Continue buttons in the List Buttons dialogue. The user can select any of the two buttons in order to proceed to the next page.
Globally for every page that contains Social Security Number, when the user inputs SSN using default Dragon dictation, the numbers are not masked unless you use the following command: “Press+number”. Backspace command erases the entire number in a given part of the SSN.
On the Verify Identity page, “Click Year” command sets focus to Tax Year instead of the Date of Birth Year field. The user needs to use “Tab” command to navigate to the Date of Birth fields.
Browsers and Operating Systems
Direct Pay works best with Windows 7, Internet Explorer 11, and JAWS 13 and above.
Mobile and Handheld Devices
Direct Pay can be used on a mobile or handheld device with different operating systems such as iOS via Safari browser or Android via Chrome browser. For TalkBack users on Samsung Galaxy S5 devices when all fields are selected on Tax Information page, TalkBack announces Continue Button as “Disabled”, but the button is active and the user can proceed to the next page. On the Payment Lookup Page when the user goes to the Confirmation Number field for the first time TalkBack announces underscores and dashes that are used to visually separate 4 parts of the confirmation number. It does not prevent the user from entering the confirmation number, which would be announced correctly afterwards.
On the Tax Information page, if you use iOS mobile devices (iPad/iPhone) in Landscape mode, after the selection is made in the following select boxes: “Reason for Payment”, “Apply Payment To”, “Tax Period for Payment”, the focus is shifted to the top of the page to “Skip Navigation” link. If the buttons “Previous” and “Continue” are visible on the screen, after “Tax Period for Payment” the focus is shifted to the “Continue” button bypassing the “Previous” button. For the best user experience, use your mobile device in the Portrait mode and the focus is going to stay on the Tax Period for Payment field until the user swipes to the “Previous” button.
On the Payment page when the iPhone 5 and iPhone 7 users swipes to the Account Type field, VoiceOver is not reading the state of the Radio buttons “Checked/Unchecked” for the account type (Savings/Checking). There is a similar behavior for the Privacy Act Checkbox on the Verify Identity Page when VoiceOver is not reading that the checkbox has been Checked/Unchecked.
On the “Payment Lookup” page, if you use an iPhone and select OK from the onscreen keyboard, the focus will shift to the Note rather than the SSN field after you typed the confirmation number. For the best user experience, select the arrow down button on the onscreen keyboard to move to the SSN field, and press OK after filling out all the fields.
There is a known issue with Android Mobile devices/phones when TalkBack gives a hint to "Double tap to activate" for a static paragraph or other blocks of text. This instruction is applicable to active elements such as links, buttons, and modal windows.
On the “Payment Lookup” page, the cursor inside the Confirmation number always stays at the beginning of the field. This prevents the user to enter the number correctly. Also, the user is not able to delete the Confirmation number. This issue is limited to Android Galaxy devices with TalkBack on. For better user experience please use desktop/laptop or Apple devices to lookup your payment information.
In native iOS email, if dashes are present in the confirmation number, the last dash is read as a “minus” sign. The 4-digit number is read as a number and not individual digits. For example, 6673 is read by Voice Over as “six thousand six hundred seventy three”.
On the “Look up a Payment” and “Verify Identity” pages, if you use an iPhone, the focus does not move to the next field when dismissing either the “picker” or the onscreen keyboard with the “Done” button.
When the user makes errors upon form submission, multiple error messages are presented in a numbered list on the top of the page. TalkBack is not reading the error number, but reads the error message itself. The user can tap on the link to go to the specific field to make correction.
When user dismisses “Email Terms and Conditions Disclosure Agreement”or “Disclosure Authorization”, VoiceOver is not reading from the top of the page.
On multiple pages, when modal windows are opened and the user selects “Close” (X) button to dismiss it, VoiceOver cursor goes up to Skip Navigation link, the page title is not announced.
The Direct Pay Application has been built using responsive web design.
The Direct Pay team is working to mitigate these deficiencies. In the meantime, the recommended workaround is to use this application on a laptop or desktop with a JAWS screen reader.
Visual Design Features
This application has taken visual design into account in the following ways:
Background and foreground colors have been chosen with a high degree of contrast to maximize visibility. Colors are controlled within the style sheet and therefore may be electively overridden by altering your browser style settings. If your browser or browsing device does not support style sheets at all, the content of each page will remain readable and will be organized in the proper reading order with the exception of the pages where the user will encounter some form fields displayed multiple times and modal windows are covering the page’s text when the page is loaded. The workaround would be to reload the page again and the page is going to be displayed properly.
The ForeSee survey notification appears immediately after the Government Warning popup is dismissed and functions properly with JAWS version 13 and above. However, if you are using JAWS version 11 or lower, the screen reader goes to the buttons "No, Thanks" and "Yes, I'll give feedback" bypassing the text above. In order to read the text on the survey, use the JAWS "Say All" Command (INSERT+DOWN ARROW). The survey will appear at the end of the user's session.
Change Text Size
Below are hints for increasing or decreasing the font size on the IRS Direct Pay website.
Try this first: The latest versions of several web browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari) allow users to easily increase the font size for easier readability. Try holding down the Ctrl key (Command key on a Macintosh) and press the + (plus) key. You can also decrease the font size by holding down the Ctrl or Command key and pressing the - (minus) key.
If that doesn't work: If that is not effective, you may be using an older version of your Web browser. You may find instructions on the Web Accessibility Initiative site to be helpful. If you are still not successful, you might consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury is dedicated to making the IRS Direct Pay web application accessible for all users. We will continue to make accessibility enhancements during future website redesigns.