The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

15 April 2004

Taxation: it's everywhere you want to be

A new survey reveals that the majority of American taxpayers are aware that the Internal Revenue Service accepts major credit cards, but few are willing to put their tax balances on plastic because of the fees charged (usually 2 to 3 percent).

This really isn't too surprising: if you're facing a $1200 payment, coming up with an extra thirty bucks isn't going to make you feel any better, even if you've got a twenty-day grace period on your MasterCard. The survey suggests that the IRS, should they want greater use of plastic, should follow the lead of real merchants and pay the cost of card processing themselves, billing the $1200 and then collecting $1170 or so from their card service. I have serious doubts, though, that the Treasury will consider such a thing.

Posted at 8:23 AM to Common Cents

Just wondering about this ... if you don't pay the IRS, they come after you. They'll take everything you have and maybe even toss you in prison. If, however, you pay the IRS via a credit card and then default on the bill, the IRS wouldn't care since they've been paid. And, all the credit agency can do is sue you. They can't put you in prison.

Am I reading this right?

Posted by: Interested-Participant at 12:36 AM on 16 April 2004

That's the way it looks to me: the IRS has its money, and probably won't (perhaps legally can't) intervene in the conflict between the defaulter and his card company.

I did pay the balance due (seventy-odd bucks) on my state return with Visa, but this was motivated by an offer of double rewards points.

Posted by: CGHill at 7:27 AM on 16 April 2004