IRS Payment Options: Debit, Credit & 7 More Ways to Pay Taxes

There's more than one way to make an IRS payment, and some of the options may surprise you.
Tina OremMar 17, 2021
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What’s inside

Back in the day, writing a check was pretty much the only way to make an IRS payment. Now, however, there are a ton of options. Here’s how today’s options for making an IRS payment work, what they cost and some pros and cons of each IRS payment method.

How it works: You go to the , verify your identity and bank information, and authorize an ACH debit from your bank account.

Cost: Free

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How it works:  You go to the , provide identity and bank information, wait about a week for a PIN to arrive in the mail, set a password, go back online and authorize an ACH transaction from your bank account.

Cost: Free

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How it works: A wire transfer moves money electronically from one person to another using a bank or a nonbank provider.

Cost: About $25, depending on your institution

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How it works: You go to the website of one of the IRS’s three independent payment processors, then provide the payment amount, your card information and other data. The processor sends the money to the IRS.

Cost: Between $2 and $3.95 per payment (the fee goes to the processor, not the IRS).

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How it works: You go to the website of one of the IRS’ three independent payment processors, then provide the payment amount, your card information and other data. The processor sends the money to the IRS.

Cost: Between 1.96% and 1.99% of your payment; minimum fee is between $2.50 and $2.69 (the fee goes to the processor, not the IRS)

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How it works: Have one made out to the U.S. Treasury and mail it to the IRS. Make sure it includes your name, address, daytime phone number, Social Security number or , the tax year it should be applied to and related tax form or notice number.

Cost: Stamps and/or mail delivery tracking, plus a possible fee to get a money order or cashier’s check

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How it works: Go to the and follow the instructions to make a cash IRS payment. You get an email confirming your information, and the IRS verifies your information. You get a second email with a link to a payment code and instructions. You then go to the retail store in the email, have the clerk scan your code and then you hand over your cash. You get a receipt and payment confirmation.

Cost: $1.50 to $3.99 per payment

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How it works: is the IRS’ official mobile app. You can use it to make payments via the mobile version of IRS Direct Pay for free or with a debit or credit card (for a fee).

Cost: App is free

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How it works: If you can’t pay your tax bill in full when it’s due, you can get on a payment plan with the IRS. There are two types of plans: short-term (for people who can pay off the balance in 180 days or fewer) and long-term (for people who need more time).

Cost: $0 to $225, depending on the plan you select, how you enroll and whether you’re a low-income taxpayer ()

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We've weighed the pros and cons of some major players in the space.

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