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Using a credit card to pay taxes
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
- Visit the IRS online to see the list of approved payment processors.
- Select a processor, and visit its website.
- Choose which tax filing status you’re paying for.
- Enter your name, Social Security number, address and contact details.
- 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.
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|
When you should pay taxes with a credit card
Before paying your taxes with a credit card, weigh the benefits and potential drawbacks.
Four 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’re paying your taxes with a 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.
You earn rewards on your purchases.
Paying your taxes come with a 2% fee. If your card earns that much cash back on all purchases or more, you could pay off the fee and even earn something on top.
Three 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.
You have high credit utilization ratio.
If your tax payment isn’t a large sum compared to your available credit line, you shouldn’t have any problems. But if it takes a significant portion of your credit line, you could offset your credit utilization ratio. Keeping your utilization ratio above 30% can damage your credit score.
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
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
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