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Using a credit card to pay taxes

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You can pay taxes with your credit card, but there will be fees.

When you owe the IRS, it gives you plenty of ways to pay your tax bill. But can you pay taxes with a credit card? The answer is yes — as long as you pay through one of the IRS’s three approved payment processors.

A credit card isn’t your cheapest option: You’ll pay about a 2% fee per payment. However, paying with a credit card could come with specific benefits, too.

How to pay taxes with a credit card

  1. Visit the IRS online to see the list of approved payment processors.
  2. Select a processor, and visit its website.
  3. Choose which tax filing status you’re paying for.
  4. Enter your name, Social Security number, address and contact details.
  5. Submit your billing details, including your credit card information and billing address.

Note that not all IRS taxes are eligible for payment by credit or debit card, and the IRS could limit how often you can make payments with a card. See the IRS’s Frequency Limit Table by Type of Tax Payment for more information.

Which card types are accepted by the IRS?

All of the major card networks — Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express — are accepted.

IRS credit card payment processors

The IRS offers three approved processors, each of which charge similar fees for credit card payments. Here are your options and their associated fees as of this writing.

IRS processors from IRS site

What fees will I pay?

Here are the fees you’ll pay depending on the size of your tax bill.

How much you owe Approximate credit card fee
$500 $10
$1,000 $20
$2,500 $50
$5,000 $100
$7,500 $150
$10,000 $200
$15,000 $300
$20,000 $400

When you should pay taxes with a credit card

Before paying your taxes with a credit card, weigh the benefits and potential drawbacks.

Three reasons to pay taxes with a credit card

  • You need time to pay off your taxes.
    If you face a big tax bite, you don’t have to pay it all right away. By putting it on your credit card, you can pay it off over a longer period.
  • You want to reach a minimum spend for a signup bonus.
    Minimum spends on signup bonuses are usually a few thousand dollars. Reach yours more easily by paying your taxes with your credit card. Just make sure that the IRS’s processing fee doesn’t erase what you’d gain from your bonus.
  • You have a credit card with a long 0% intro APR period.
    If you put your taxes on your 0% APR card, you can effectively defer your payments. Instead of putting your money toward taxes immediately, you can let it grow in a savings account, money market account or certificate of deposit.

Two reasons to avoid paying your taxes with a credit card

  • You have trouble keeping up with payments.
    It’s rarely a good idea to rack up a lot of debt on your credit card without paying it off soon. If you plan on paying only the minimum toward your balance each month, consider passing on a credit card tax payment. You’ll quickly accumulate interest that could balloon your debt.
  • You need to keep an eye on your credit score.
    Putting a big charge on your credit card will raise your credit utilization ratio, which could put a dent in your credit score. If you’re looking to open a line of credit soon — such as a mortgage, car loan or credit card — it may be wise to avoid more debt right now.

Consider an installment agreement

If you’re paying taxes via credit card because you can’t pay your tax bill all at once, consider an installment plan. This is an agreement with the IRS that lets you pay your tax debt in monthly payments.

To begin an installment plan, you must file your tax return and owe $50,000 or less in taxes, penalties and interest.

Find the right credit card for you

Updated June 25th, 2019
Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual Fee
7x points on Hilton Honors purchases, 5x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
17.99% to 26.99% variable
$0
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
5x points on directly-booked flights or on flights and hotels on Amex Travel. 1x points on all other purchases
N/A
$550
Get 5x Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5x points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com. Rates & fees
N/A
0% intro for the first 18 months (then 13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24% variable)
$0
An 18 months 0% intro APR period on both purchases and balance transfers, plus zero foreign transaction fees, makes this is a strong well-rounded card. See Rates and Fees
3% cash back on up to $10,000 in the first 12 months, then 1.5% on all purchases
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 15.24%, 19.24% or 25.24% variable)
$0
Earn 3% cash back on up to $10,000 in the first 12 months, then 1.5% on all purchases. See Rates and Fees.
2x miles at US restaurants and on direct Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
17.99% to 26.99% variable
$0
Earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

There’s nothing wrong with paying for your taxes with your credit card and you might even benefit from doing so depending on your credit card. Just watch for the additional fees and don’t fall behind on your payments.

Compare rewards credit cards to find a welcome offer that can help you earn big rewards for paying off your taxes.

Frequently asked questions

Pictures: Getty Images

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