How to pay taxes with a debit or credit card

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It’s tax season again (now extended until July 15) and many of us are looking for the easiest way to handle filing and payment. The IRS offers many online tools and online filing to help taxpayers file easily and quickly. It’s also strongly encouraged to pay taxes online, and the IRS has entered partnerships to make online payments easy, accessible and secure.

If you are paying taxes online this year, using a credit or a debit card is a good option. And paying with a credit card may have the extra benefit of rewards earnings. This may be especially helpful to small business owners and freelancers who make quarterly tax payments. Keep reading to learn more about how to pay taxes with a credit card.

Can I pay my taxes with a credit card?

You can absolutely pay your taxes with a credit card, though it may not be the best option. This is because paying with a credit card involves processing fees on the front end and possible added interest on the back end. However, if you’re paying taxes for your business with a credit card, those fees may be tax deductible.

It’s a good idea to do some research before going ahead with using your credit card for payment. If you do decide to move ahead with using your credit card, make sure you are getting value back on the charges. This value may come in the form of cash back or rewards miles or points.

Another thing to consider before going with this option is how you will pay off the charges. If you are not able to pay off the charges all at once, make sure you calculate added interest into your repayment strategy. Even better, if you’re looking to carry a balance, try to leverage a zero percent APR offer.

How to pay taxes with a credit card

If you’re thinking about paying your taxes on a credit card, you may want to start by calculating how much you’ll owe. This will give you an idea of how much credit you’ll need to cover the payment before you file. You are allowed to make two federal tax payments on a credit card per year.

While there are pros and cons to paying your taxes with a credit card, it is one of the quickest ways to get your tax payment done. You can do so by phone or online, and the steps for paying taxes with a credit card are fairly straightforward.

Online

The first step for making your payment is to go to the IRS website and click the “Pay” link at the top of the homepage. Click on the “Pay by debit or credit card” option. From this page, you’ll choose a card processor to handle your payment.

 

Processor Fee Payments accepted
PayUSAtax 1.96%

Minimum fee $2.69

Visa, Master Card, Discover, American Express, STAR, Pulse, NYCE, Accel, Visa Checkout, MasterPass, Amex Express Checkout, PayPal
Pay1040 1.87%

Minimum fee $2.59

Visa, Master Card, Discover, American Express, STAR, Pulse, NYCE, Visa Checkout, MasterPass, Amex Express Checkout
OfficialPayments 1.99%

Minimum fee $2.50

Visa, Master Card, Discover, American Express, STAR, Pulse, NYCE, Visa Checkout, Amex Express Checkout

Once you’ve chosen a card processor, click the “Make a Payment Button”. Doing this will take you to the processor’s website to complete your transaction. From there, you can follow the instructions for making a payment. If you are paying federal and state taxes, make sure your card processor can cover both. To complete your transaction, you may also need to have your tax information on hand.

By phone

Paying by phone is also an option if you wish to make your payment on a credit card. Each of the three card processors has a dedicated line for making payments. They are as follows:

PayUSAtax: 855-508-0159
Pay1040: 888-729-1040
OfficialPayments: 888-272-9829

When you call, make sure you have your credit card and tax return information on hand.

Alternatives to paying taxes with a credit card

The IRS provides a variety of options to take care of your tax payments. Here are some other payment options to consider.

Use your debit card

Using your debit card is another option for paying your taxes. The steps are the same as those for using a credit card. However, the processing fee for a debit card payment is a flat rate that can range anywhere from $2 to $3.95. A debit card payment is linked directly to your cash funds. You will need to make sure that you have the cash available for the payment if you are going with this option.

Pay by Direct Pay

Direct Pay allows you to send money directly from a savings or checking account. You don’t have to register to use direct pay and you can access it through the IRS website or IRS2Go app. In order to complete your payment, you will need the information from an old tax return from within the past six years to verify your identity. You can’t make more than two payments using Direct Pay in a 24-hour period.

Use electronic funds withdrawal (EFW)

Using EFW is like creating a digital check to make a payment. It doesn’t require any enrollment and the IRS doesn’t charge you a fee to pay in this way. Before choosing this form of payment, you’ll want to check with your banking institution to see if they charge a fee on their end. In order to complete an EFW, you will need your bank account number, routing number, and the type of account. This option is only available if you file using tax preparation software or the services of a tax professional.

Use the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS)

EFTPS is a free service offered by the IRS for dealing with personal and business tax payments. It is available year round, but you must enroll to use the service. To enroll you’ll need to register a bank account and the address associated with your tax return. Once you enroll, you’ll get an ID number and password and can make payments at any time.

Pay with cash

The IRS has a partnership with PayNearMe to give taxpayers the option to pay in cash. You can take advantage of this option at participating 7-Eleven stores. There is a fee of $3.99 per payment and there is a limit to how much you can pay a day. The IRS offers step-by-step instructions for how to pay by cash on their website. You can also choose this option for payment when processing your tax payment through the website Official Payments.

Send a check in the mail

While the IRS strongly encourages people to pay their taxes online, you can still use the traditional option of sending your tax payment by mail. You can send a check, money order or cashier’s check made payable to the U.S. Treasury for your intended payment.

Make sure that your check includes your personal information, including your name, address and social security number. You’ll also need to include the tax year and tax form number on your check to make sure it is applied appropriately.

If you are choosing the pay by mail option, it is best to send your check early and to pay for tracking. If your check gets lost in the mail, you will still be responsible for payment and any late fees that may apply.