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Credit Cards for Paying Taxes

by Ryan Guina

We’re right in the thick of tax season, and one of the cool things about technology is that it is incredibly easy to file and pay your taxes online with EFTPS or other tools. One of the other tools available for paying your taxes is a credit card. I’ll be the first to tell you that it’s usually a bad idea to pay taxes with a credit card. There are two main reasons: transaction fees, which average right around 2% or slightly higher, and the possibility of paying interest on the amount you charged. That said, using a credit card to pay your taxes may be a good option under certain circumstances.

Let’s take a look at your options if you want to pay your taxes with a credit card and avoid a financial headache. We’ll take a look at fees, when it might be a good idea, and some good cards to use.

How Much Does it Cost to Pay Taxes with a Credit Card?

Best credit cards for paying taxes

Know how much it will cost before paying taxes with a credit card!

The IRS only authorizes a few companies to accept credit card transactions to pay your taxes. But processing credit cards isn’t free and the IRS allows these companies to charge a “Convenience Fee”  to process your credit card payment. Here is what it will cost you to pay you taxes with your credit card (source: IRS).

  • RBS WorldPay, Inc: 1.95%
  • Link2Gov Corporation: 2.35%
  • Official Payments Corporation: 2.35%
  • TurboTax: 2.35%
  • FileYourTaxes.com: 3.93%

Note: These companies charge a minimum processing fee of close to $4, and may also charge a fee for using your debit card to pay your taxes. Debit card processing fees are a flat rate for many of these companies. Always run the numbers before blindly swiping your card.

Pros and Cons of Using a Credit Card for Paying Taxes

You can pay your taxes for free by check or by making an ACH transfer is free, so you have less expensive options available. The other potential downfall to using a credit card for paying taxes is the interest you may owe interest if you don’t pay your card in full.

That said, there are a few times when using a credit card might be a good idea:

  • When your credit card rewards return more than the transaction costs
  • If it can help you avoid paying IRS late fees and penalties
  • You need the cash flow for your personal or business finances
  • You can pay the credit card in full, or in a reasonable amount of time
  • When your interest rate is minimal or zero
  • When you can transfer the balance to a balance transfer credit card for a 0% interest rate.

Featured Credit Cards for Paying Taxes

Paying your taxes with a credit card may qualify you to earn cash back, points, or miles, which might be good if you have favorite cash back credit card or travel credit card. In some cases the rewards will be enough to offset any transaction fees. Under some circumstances, the convenience fee may be tax deductible because it is a cost associated with paying your taxes (check with your tax professional).

Here are some credit cards which might take the sting out of paying your taxes with a credit card.

You can also check with your credit union or current credit card provider for other credit card offers.

Advertising Disclosure: This page contains advertisements. This page does not include all available credit card offers from all advertisers (that would be literally hundreds, if not thousands of credit cards). This credit card review was not reviewed by, endorsed, or approved by Citi or any other credit card issuer. All opinions, reviews, and recommendations reflect the author’s honest opinions, beliefs, and experiences.


Published or updated August 26, 2014.
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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 PigPennies

The only two credit cards I use anymore are my 2% Fidelity AMEX and 1.5% Fidelity Visa. The Visa also goes up to 2% after something like $15k of yearly spending. I use the AMEX for almost everything, and the Visa for those places that don’t take AMEX.

I love cash back cards because I find I could usually buy more in “rewards” than the points or mileage actually get me. I also find that getting a flat 2% across the board on everything works out better than getting 1% on most and 5% on just some categories.

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2 Ryan

Those are both great cards. I don’t believe fidelity offers the 2% cash back card to new customers any longer, but it’s great if you are grandfathered in at the old rate!

I use my rewards cards for most purchases and pay them in full each month. It makes for a nice rebate once or twice a year!

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3 PigPennies

Oh, but they do! It’s the Schwab 2% card that doesn’t exist anymore. Fidelity posts rewards directly into my brokerage account, not my pocket, but I just adjust my monthly transfer to my Roth IRA accordingly so it works out as if I was getting the extra money in my checking account. Gotta love rewards cards!

I’ll have to check out RBS since my rewards are (slightly) more than their charge. Thanks for the tips!

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4 Ryan

Right – I was thinking about the Schwab card. :)

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