Why You Should Avoid Paying Income Taxes with a Credit Card
We all agree that the credit card is very convenient. That is why the IRS allows you pay your taxes through it. To sweeten the deal, credit card companies offer rewards in the form of frequent flyer miles. So you can get a free air ticket too. But hang on, is that convenient to your pocket too? Sadly, the answer is no.
The IRS has authorized third party companies to process your credit card payments. However, you, the taxpayer has to pay for it. So, every time you use your credit card to pay tax, you also have to pay a fee that is usually around 2.49 % of your tax. Thus if you are paying $18,000 in taxes, you also pay an additional fee of around $450. Now add the fee charged by travel rewards credit cards and you can drop the second letter from the word ‘free’ as in free airline ticket.
If you are in debt, the last thing you want is more debt. Annual interest charges are quite high, even going up to 30%. You could spend the rest of your life paying for the $18450 ‘convenience.’ If you are in debt with many credit cards, this additional debt can lead to bankruptcy. But even that cannot save you. As per law, you still have to pay taxes along with other payments like child support or alimony.
It is for these reasons that consumer agencies like the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies (AICCA) suggest alternative ways of paying income tax. You could dip into your savings bank account or take a loan at a lower interest rate.
There are only two conditions under which this transaction looks good. You pay the IRS with your credit card and simultaneously pay off the credit card company as well. This way, you avoid the interest payments, if it is any consolation. The other condition is that if it is impossible for you to meet the IRS deadline. While the IRS can grab most of your assets immediately, your credit card company cannot. While the case is in court, you may just win a lottery or inherit a windfall!