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Tax Tip: 3 ways to pay your federal income tax

Tax Tip: 3 ways to pay your federal income tax

CREATED Apr 8, 2011

A tax tip from IRS.gov

If you owe taxes but can't pay the full amount by the April 18 deadline you should still file your return on time and pay as much as you can to avoid penalties and interest. You should also contact the IRS to ask about alternative payment options. Here are three alternative payment options you may want to consider:

1) Additional Time to Pay

Based on your circumstances, you may be granted a short additional time to pay your tax in full. A brief additional amount of time to pay can be requested through the Online Payment Agreement application at http:www.IRS.gov or by calling 800-829-1040. Taxpayers who request and are granted an additional 60 to 120 days to pay the tax in full generally will pay less in penalties and interest than if the debt were repaid through an installment agreement over a greater period of time.

2) Installment Agreement

You can apply for an IRS installment agreement using the Web-based Online Payment Agreement application on IRS.gov. This Web-based application allows taxpayers who owe $25,000 or less in combined tax, penalties and interest to self-qualify, apply for, and receive immediate notification of approval. You can also request an installment agreement before your current tax liabilities are actually assessed by using OPA. The OPA option provides you with a simple and convenient way to establish an installment agreement and eliminates the need for personal interaction with IRS and reduces paper processing. You may also complete and submit a Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request, make your request in writing, or call 1-800-829-1040 to make your request. For balances over $25,000, you are required to complete a financial statement to determine the monthly payment amount for an installment plan. For more complete information see Tax Topic 202, Tax Payment Options on http.www.IRS.gov.

3) Pay by Credit Card or Debit Card

You can charge your taxes on your American Express, MasterCard, Visa or Discover credit cards. Additionally, you can pay by using your debit card. However, the debit card must be a Visa Debit Card, or a NYCE, Pulse or Star Debit Card. To pay by credit card or debit card, contact one of the service providers at its telephone number or Web site listed below and follow the instructions. There is no IRS fee for credit or debit card payments, but the processing companies charge a convenience fee or flat fee. If you are paying by credit card, the service providers charge a convenience fee based on the amount you are paying. If you are paying by debit card, the service providers charge a flat fee of $3.89 to $3.95.  Do not add the convenience fee or flat fee to your tax payment.

The processing companies are:

Link2Gov Corporation:

To pay by debit or credit card: 888-PAY-1040 (888-729-1040), www.pay1040.com

RBS WorldPay, Inc.

To pay by debit or credit card: 888-9PAY-TAX (888-972-9829), www.payUSAtax.com

Official Payments Corporation:

To pay by debit or credit card: 888-UPAY-TAX (888-872-9829), www.officialpayments.com/fed

For more information about filing and paying your taxes, visit http:www.IRS.gov and choose 1040 Central or refer to the Form 1040 Instructions or IRS Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax. You can download forms and publications at http://www.irs.gov or request a free copy by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

Links:

Remember that all of the web page addresses for the official IRS website, IRS.gov, begin with http://www.irs.gov. Don't be confused or misled by Internet sites that end in .com, .net, .org or other designations instead of .gov. The address of the official IRS governmental Web site is http://www.irs.gov/.