Consumers are increasingly comfortable with online bill paying. So it's no surprise that Uncle Sam also wants to cash in on electronic money moving.
Leading the way is the federal agency that has the most direct contact with working Americans: the Internal Revenue Service. Last year, more than 119 million filed electronically, many because they were due refunds that were processed more quickly because their tax data were sent online.
Now the IRS is working to convince taxpayers that they, too, should go the electronic route when it comes to paying up. The agency has entered into partnerships with the private sector, including the banking industry, tax software developers and credit card processors, to make tax e-payments more appealing.
Here are the ways you can electronically move your money into the U.S. Treasury.
Credit card payments
Taxpayers can tell Uncle Sam to "charge it." And debit cards are part of the mix.
Official Payments, Link2Gov and WorldPay are the IRS-approved plastic processors. Each company accepts payments from electronic as well as paper filers, either via phone or the Internet, in Spanish as well as English.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa are accepted for charged payments. If you want to avoid potentially costly interest charges, the payment processors also accept some debit or check card payments.
Although the companies are now accepting debit as well as credit cards, not all cards are accepted for all payment types. The cards that are accepted will be identified when you make your payment.
Also keep in mind that this electronic payment method will cost you more than just your tax bill. Each company has its own fee schedule, with credit card fees ranging from 1.89 percent to 2.35 percent of your tax bill and debit card fees of nearly $4 per transaction.
And if you don't pay off your credit card in full, you'll start racking up interest charges on your account.
Your tax payment and the convenience fee usually will appear separately on your card statement. If you itemize, note the fee amount. The IRS now allows you to count that as a miscellaneous deduction, so you can add this payment to those expenses when you file your 2013 return next year.