Charge It to the Government: Paying Income Tax with a Credit Card

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Written By kevin

A financial strategist with a knack for demystifying taxes and insurance, Kevin distills complex concepts into actionable advice.

Are you part of the legion of taxpayers who cringe at the thought of writing a hefty check to the IRS each year? If so, there’s a payment alternative that might make this process less daunting – settling your taxes with a credit card. In this article, we’ll delve into how this procedure operates and whether it could be a suitable choice for you.

How Does It Work?

The IRS permits taxpayers to settle their income tax bill with a credit card via certain third-party processors. You have the liberty to select from a range of options, each with distinct fees and terms contingent on the provider.

Advantages of Paying Taxes with Credit Cards

Settling taxes with a credit card may offer some benefits compared to other payment methods:

  • Convenience: This alternative is ideal if you’re short on cash or wish to distribute payments over a period.
  • Rewards: By utilizing rewards-based credit cards like cashback or travel points cards, you can earn perks while settling your taxes.
  • Low-interest rates: Some credit card providers offer introductory low-interest rates on balance transfers or new purchases that might be beneficial if you plan to carry your tax debt for an extended period.

Risks of Paying Taxes with Credit Cards

As appealing as it sounds, here are a few factors you should consider before charging your taxes:

  • Fees: Be cognizant of transaction fees charged by third-party processors which could be as high as 2% of your tax bill.
  • High-interest rates: Interest rates on missed payments associated with these types of transactions tend to be steeper than regular interest rates offered by most banks.
  • Unpaid Debt: With higher interest rates comes increased risk when not managing debts consistently. So stay current in managing bills and making timely payments; otherwise, unpaid debt and its associated penalties will continue to accumulate.

Weigh all these factors while considering the pros and cons described above to determine whether paying taxes with credit cards is the right option for you.

Remember, before making any financial decision, conduct thorough research and understand all options available to make the most suitable choice based on your unique situation.


Can I pay my income tax bill with a credit card?

Yes, you can typically settle your federal income tax bill using a credit card as long as the payment is made through an approved third-party processor. However, you should be aware that there may be processing fees involved in doing so.

What are the benefits of paying my taxes with a credit card?

One potential benefit of using a credit card to pay your taxes is that it allows you to earn rewards points or cash back on your purchase. Additionally, if you use a 0% introductory APR credit card and pay off the balance before interest accrues, you could potentially avoid paying any interest charges.

Are there any disadvantages to paying my taxes with a credit card?

Yes, one significant disadvantage is that most third-party processors charge convenience fees for processing payments via credit cards. These fees can add up quickly depending on how much money you owe in taxes and what percentage fee the processor charges. You’ll also want to make sure that the amount of rewards or cash back earned doesn’t outweigh these additional costs associated with charging your tax payment to your credit card account.