Using a credit card to pay taxes |
credit card to pay taxes

Using a credit card to pay taxes

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It’s tax time, and you’re about to send money to Uncle Sam. How will you pay?

When you owe the IRS, it gives you plenty of ways to pay your tax bill, from its proprietary Direct Pay to electronic withdrawals and even cash payments.

How about credit cards? The answer is yes, you can use plastic to pay your IRS bill — as long as you pay through one of the IRS’ 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 that we detail below.

Why you should — and shouldn’t — pay taxes with a credit card

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

Paying with a credit card could be helpful if 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Compare the top 0% APR cards

Avoid paying your taxes with a credit card if 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.
  • 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.

Learn more about installment plans at the IRS website

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.

What fees will I pay?

The IRS offers three approved processors, each of which charge similar fees for credit card payments.

ProcessorCredit card feeMinimum fee
Pay USA Tax1.98%$2.69
Pay 10401.87%$2.59
Official Payments2%$2.50

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

How much you oweApproximate credit card fee

Which card types are accepted by the IRS?

All of the major card networks — Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express — are accepted.
Using a credit card to pay rent

Compare credit cards

Rates last updated April 26th, 2018
Name Product APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate ) Intro APR for Balance Transfer Annual fee Product Description
Deserve® Classic Card
Deserve® Classic Card
24.24% variable
Designed to help build credit history with no deposit required and access to benefits.
Luxury Card Mastercard® Titanium Card™
16.49% variable
0% Intro APR for for the first 15 billing cycles (with whichever is greater: $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card
23.9% variable
$75 annual fee for the first year ($0 to $99 thereafter)
With this card you get a 23.9% variable APR.
Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®
10.49% variable
A low, variable APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
17.24%, 21.24% or 24.24% variable
0% Intro APR for 12 months (with whichever is greater: $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0 annual fee for the first year ($89 thereafter)
Enjoy 40000
bonus miles after you spend on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase.
Credit One Bank® Visa® with Free Credit Score Tracking
19.15% - 25.24% Variable
$0 to $75 first year annual fee for the first year ($0 to $99 thereafter)
Get 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases including gas, groceries, and services such as mobile phone, internet, cable and satellite TV, terms apply.
Credit One Bank® Unsecured Platinum Visa®
19.15% - 25.24% variable
$0 to $75 first year annual fee for the first year ($0 to $99 thereafter)
Give your credit a boost with credit line increase opportunities, a fee may apply.
The First Access VISA® Credit Card
29.99% variable
$75.00 for first year. After that, $48.00 annually.
Access credit even if you have poor or limited credit history.
Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum
9.50% variable
The Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum Card offers multiple perks, including one of the lowest available APRs on the market.
Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Free Credit Score Tracking
19.15% - 25.24% variable
$0 to $75 first year annual fee for the first year ($0 to $99 thereafter)
Get 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchase, terms apply.
Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum Rewards
11.50% variable
Excellent Credit Required - Applicants that do not have excellent credit will not be approved

Compare up to 4 providers

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