Doing your taxes can feel like a long process. If you’ve filed taxes and ended up owing money, you might be curious whether you can pay your taxes with a credit card. Going this route could make things easier and give you more time to pay your tax bill.
So, can you pay taxes with a credit card? The answer is yes. It is possible to pay your taxes with a credit card. While it’s convenient, you’ll want to understand any fees and interest owed. Let’s take a closer look.
Types of taxes you can pay with a credit card
Wondering whether you can pay federal or state taxes with a credit card? What about paying property taxes with a credit card?
Before you use your credit card to pay your taxes, make sure you know which types of taxes can be paid with a card. You’ll also want to be mindful of any rules and restrictions that come with these different types of taxes.
- Federal taxes. The IRS makes it easy for you to pay your federal taxes on its website. Depending on your tax and payment type, there’s a cap on the number of credit card payments you can make in a given year.1
- State taxes. Some states offer you the choice to pay your state taxes with a credit card. If a state you’re filing taxes in offers this, you can pay your state income taxes and business taxes with a credit card. Contact your state tax department for the details.Another option is to pay your state income taxes through the IRS’ OfficialPayments.com. You can think of it as a central hub to securely process payments on everything from insurance, rent, property taxes, and utilities. Fees do apply, though.
- Property taxes. Some counties and cities let you pay your property taxes with a credit card. You can find out whether this is an option by contacting your local tax collector’s office. There’s a good chance a convenience fee will be tacked onto your payment. As mentioned, you might be able to pay your property taxes on OfficialPayments.com.
- Estimated quarterly taxes. If you are a freelancer, have a side gig, or run your own business, you owe quarterly taxes throughout the year. Estimated taxes are technically federal taxes, so you can pay taxes owed through the IRS website just like you’d pay your federal taxes. Using your credit card is an option when paying your quarterly taxes.2
Find out more about paying taxes as a freelancer.
Paying taxes with a credit card: Fees to consider
Paying taxes with a credit card can be convenient but can also come with a price tag. The IRS has teamed up with several payment processors for federal taxes, each with different fees. Let’s look at the different fee ranges for paying taxes with your credit card:3
|ACI Payments, Inc.
Pros and cons of paying taxes with a credit card
While it’s simple and hassle-free, paying taxes with a credit card has advantages and downsides. It’s important to look at both before making a choice. We’ll walk you through the plusses and minuses.
Before you go in on covering your tax bill with a credit card, factor in the pluses and minuses. Here are some of the advantages of going this route:
When you pay your taxes with a credit card, you don’t have to drop a check in the mail or step inside your local tax collector’s office. When you pay taxes with a credit card, you can do so online. This can be a huge time saver.
More time to pay
As the money owed on taxes is now part of your credit card balance, you can spread out your payments if needed. However, while you’ll have more time to pay off your tax bill, you’ll have to pay interest – which we’ll dig our heels into more in just a bit.
Reap sign-up bonus minimums
Do you have your eye on a sign-up bonus? Maybe a credit card you just opened offers $200 in cash if you spend $500 in the first three months. Your tax bill is a large-ticket item, so paying Uncle Sam with your credit card can help you spend enough to snag a sign-up bonus.
Earn credit card rewards
You can rack up some credit card points by using your card to pay taxes. Check the “earn rate” on your credit card, which is the number of points you’ll earn for each dollar spent. Some credit cards offer a higher earn rate for online purchases.
Benefit from special financing
If you’re enjoying a special offer on your credit card – think 0% APR for a limited time – you might want to put what you owe on taxes onto your card. You can save on interest if you pay off your taxes before the promotion period ends.
While paying taxes with a credit card has its perks, there are some financial downsides.
At first glance, a 2.0% processing fee seems like a manageable chunk of change. But if you have a steep tax bill, a 2.0% add-on charge could result in sticker shock. For example, a 2% processing fee of $5,000 is $100. If your bill is $10,000, you’re looking at a $200 fee.
High interest charges on unpaid balances
Remember how long it took to pay off that new pair of sneakers or gaming console you put on your credit card? Now, imagine dealing with a larger-ticket purchase that could be hundreds – or even thousands – of dollars. Last year, the average interest rate on a credit card was 24.24%.4
While it’s tempting to take your time in paying off the credit card simply because you can, you could be paying a lot in interest fees. For example, let’s say you have a $5,000 tax bill and put the entire amount on your credit card.
Using Chime’s credit card payoff calculator, we’ll figure out how much your interest fees will be. If it takes you five years to pay your credit card bill and you have a 24% APR and $143 monthly payments, you would pay $3,670 in interest fees alone.
High credit utilization rate
Credit usage makes up 30% of your credit score. In turn, higher credit utilization rates can mean lower credit scores. Ideally, you’ll want to keep your credit usage to no more than 30% – the lower, the better. Adding a large tax bill onto your existing credit card balance will increase your credit utilization, which can damage your credit.
For example: You have two credit cards and the credit limit is $10,000 across both cards. You currently have a total balance of $1,000. Putting a $2,000 tax bill on your card would bring your credit usage to 30%, or $3,000, against a $10,000 limit.
Can impact your available credit
Besides high credit usage, paying taxes with your credit card also means you have a lower available credit limit. That means less credit to tap into for other things that pop up.
Not many rewards
There are plenty of credit cards where you can earn rewards by shopping online, buying groceries, and booking travel. But a credit card that offers you rewards for paying your taxes? Those are few and far between.
How to pay taxes with a credit card
There are two main ways of paying taxes with a credit card – online, and by phone. That being said, there are a few options for both that could make more sense based on your situation and preferences. You’ll always want to pay attention to the convenience charge and other fees. Let’s take a look:
IRS website. If you pay taxes with a credit card, this might be the most straightforward and least expensive route. The IRS works with a few independent payment processors, and you submit your payment through these platforms.
Digital wallet. You can also opt to pay with a digital wallet like Click to Pay, Venmo, or PayPal. If you go this route, it could boost the convenience as you sign onto your digital wallet and choose an already-linked credit card.
Integrated IRS e-file. Are you filing your own taxes online with an integrated IRS e-filing service like FileYourTaxes.com or 1040.com? If so, there’s an option to pay your taxes directly through each respective platform. However, the minimums can be higher – and so are the processing fees.
You can split your payments and pay with different credit cards or by using a debit card and credit card. That way, you won’t accrue as high of a credit card balance, which means potentially paying less in interest.
Your course of action hinges on your preferences and filing method. Be sure to look at the different options and mull over the pros, cons, and potential trade-offs.
The three payment processors the IRS has teamed up with to accept credit card payments have devoted phone lines. You can give them a ring to pay with a credit card. You’ll need your credit card and tax return information on hand:
1. payUSATax: 1-844-729-82985
2. Pay1040: 1-888-658-54656
3. ACI Payments: 1-800-272-98297
Decide if the convenience is worth it
Paying your taxes with a credit card comes with some financial trade-offs – namely, fees and a potential hit to your credit. Understanding the different options and their pros and cons can help you make an informed choice.
Find out how to file your own taxes online.