Originally created 04/13/02

VISA joins IRS credit card program



WASHINGTON -- North and South Carolina taxpayers can now charge theirfederal taxes on their VISA cards. VISA's participation furtherenhances the IRS credit card program, which has been growing steadily since it began in 1999. Taxpayers may now use any of the four major credit cards - VISA, MasterCard, American Express or Discover Card -for federal tax payments.

The IRS also expanded the credit card program this year to include installment agreement payments for tax year 1998 or later, and extension-related payments for taxpayers who live outside the U.S.and Puerto Rico. Taxpayers can make these payments, or pay taxes due for 2001 or estimated taxes for 2002, by using either the phone or Web site services of private credit card processors.

This is no IRS fee for credit card payments, but the processors charge a convenience fee. Payment types and credit cards accepted by theprocessors may vary. Some tax software packages also include an option fore-filers to pay with a credit card. Tax form instructions and IRSpublications, such as Form 1040, Form 1040-ES, Form 4868 (for extensions)and Publication 17, have details on making credit card payments.

The IRS electronic payment program also includes an electronic funds withdrawal (EFW) option. Taxpayers who e-file their returns may authorizean EFW from a checking or savings account. They may schedule the paymentfor a future date, up to and including April 15. E-filers may scheduleEFWs for the 2001 tax due and one 2002 estimated tax payment. Taxpayerswho request filing extensions by phone or computer may also make an EFWpayment.

As of mid-March, the IRS had received more than 20,000 credit cardcharges, up 13 percent from nearly 18,000 for the same period last year. The charges totaled more than $55 million. There had been nearly 100,000EFW authorizations, a 19 percent increase from last year’s 84,000.About 40 percent of the EFWs have already occurred and totaled more than $33 million. The remaining 60 percent are for future dates. Credit card charges are processed immediately.

Taxpayers may also use EFWs to pay taxes online by enrolling in the Treasury Department’s Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). Visit www.eftps.gov for information on enrolling in EFTPS.