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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.

Find the right credit card for you

Updated July 23rd, 2018
Name Product APR for Purchases (Purchase Rate) Intro APR for Balance Transfer Annual Fee
14.74%, 18.74% or 24.74% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.74%, 18.74% or 24.74% variable)
$0
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. See Rates and Fees
12.74%, 16.74% or 20.74% variable
0% for the first 18 months from account opening (then 12.74%, 16.74% or 20.74% variable)
$0
An 18-month 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
16.74% variable
0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then 16.74% variable)
$495
Mastercard Black Card members receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
16.74% variable
0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then 16.74% variable)
$195
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
16.74% variable
0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then 16.74% variable)
$995
Earn points every time you spend. Luxury Card enhances your purchasing power by providing you with one (1) point for every one dollar ($1) you spend. Every purchase gets you closer to the rewards you want.
24.74% variable
$39
Designed to help build credit history with no deposit required and access to benefits.
23.9% variable
$75 annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
With this card you get a 23.9% Variable APR.
17.49% to 25.49% variable
Up to $75 annual fee for the first year (up 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.
14.74% to 25.74% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.74% to 25.74% variable)
$0
Earn 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
14.99% to 24.99% variable
0% for the first 12 statement closing dates (then 14.99% to 24.99% variable)
$0
Earn more cash back for the things you buy most.
14.74% to 25.74% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.74% to 25.74% variable)
$0
Earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive the $150 back in the form of a statement credit.
17.74% to 24.74% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 50,000 points when you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of your account opening, and an additional 30,000 points when you spend a total of $30,000 on purchases within the first year of your account opening.
17.74% to 24.74% variable
$450
Earn 50,000 BONUS POINTS after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening* — that's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
14.74% to 24.74% variable
0% for the first 12 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
$95
Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards Points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
16.74% to 25.49% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 16.74% to 25.49% variable)
$0
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic. No minimum to redeem for cash back.
17.74% to 24.74% variable
$95
Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
14.74%, 20.74% or 24.74% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.74%, 20.74% or 24.74% variable)
$0
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
16.74% to 25.49% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 16.74% to 25.49% variable)
$0
Earn 5 cash back on up to $500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate and unlimited 1 cash back on all other purchases.
16.74% to 24.74% variable
$0
20,000 online bonus points offer. Ditch the restrictions of typical airline rewards cards. Any airline, any hotel, anytime. No blackout dates.
16.74% to 25.49% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 16.74% to 25.49% variable)
$0
Jumpstart your financial fitness! 60 day introductory balance transfer offer, save on interest, and get your free monthly credit score.
14.74%, 21.24% or 24.74% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 50,000 bonus miles once after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Compare up to 4 providers

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
$500$10
$1,000$20
$2,500$50
$5,000$100
$7,500$150
$10,000$200
$15,000$300
$20,000$400

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

Frequently asked questions

Kevin Joey Chen

Kevin Chen is a world-travelin', copy-writin', Game of Thrones-watchin' credit cards writer for finder.com. When he's not crunching the numbers on bonus points and comparing APRs, you can find him flying around the world in search of the perfect beer.

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