IRS tax tips
April 8, 2009
If you cannot pay the full amount of taxes you owe by the April deadline, you should still file your return by the deadline and pay as much as you can to avoid penalties and interest. There are also alternative payment options to consider:
- Additional Time to Pay Based on your circumstances, you may be granted a short additional time to pay your tax in full. The IRS is sometimes able to allow a brief additional amount of time to pay in order to facilitate tax debt repayment. A brief additional amount of time to pay can be requested through the Online Payment Agreement application at IRS.gov or by calling 800-829-1040. Taxpayers who request and are granted an additional 30 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.
- Installment Agreement You can apply for an IRS installment agreement using our Web-based OPA 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.
- 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 Consumer 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 $3.95, do not add the convenience fee or flat fee to your tax payment.
For more information about filing and paying your taxes, visit the IRS Web site at 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 IRS.gov or request a free copy by calling toll free 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
- Online Payment Agreement Application http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=149373,00.html
- Electronic Payment Options http://www.irs.gov/efile/article/0,,id=97400,00.html
- Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request (PDF 100K) http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f9465.pdf
- Installment payment process http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=108347,00.html
- Partial Pay Installment Agreements http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=136207,00.html
- What is an Offer in Compromise? http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=104593,00.html
- Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax (PDF 2,072K http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p17.pdf