Tax Time: Paying the IRS

Sunday, February 15, 2009; 12:00 AM

Paying Taxes to the IRS

Mail: If an addressed envelope came with your tax forms package, you should mail your return and payment in that envelope. Otherwise, where you mail the return is based on where you live. For a complete list of where to file by mail, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.

For 2008, taxpayers must file and pay any taxes due by Wednesday, April 15.

Credit Card: The IRS will accept payments by American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa are accepted by phone or online through two service providers. Both, however, require a fee based on the amount of your tax payment. They are:

Electronically: Taxpayers can pay taxes electronically by authorizing an e-pay option such as an electronic funds withdrawal from a checking or savings account. More information is available at the IRS Web site here.

If you had an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $56,000 or less in 2008, you may e-file your federal tax returns for free using the Free File program on the IRS Web site.

Installments: For those unable to pay their taxes in one lump sum, the IRS provides an Installment Agreement that can make monthly electronic deductions from your checking account or make payroll deductions from your paycheck. Interest charges on the unpaid balance may apply.

Extensions: If you can't pay the IRS on time, you can avoid penalties by filing for an extension. To do so, you must submit Form 4868 (pdf), "Application For Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Tax Return." For more information about filing or paying late, click here

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