IRS News Release  
March 20, 2002

VISA Joins IRS Credit Card Program

WASHINGTON - Taxpayers can now charge their federal taxes on their VISA cards. VISA´s participation further enhances 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.

There is no IRS fee for credit card payments, but the processors charge a convenience fee. Payment types and credit cards accepted by the processors may vary. Some tax software packages also include an option for e-filers to pay with a credit card.

Tax form instructions and IRS publications, 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 authorize an EFW from a checking or savings account. They may schedule the payment for a future date, up to and including April 15. E-filers may schedule EFWs for the 2001 tax due and one 2002 estimated tax payment. Taxpayers who request filing extensions by phone or computer may also make an EFW payment.

As of mid-March, the IRS had received more than 20,000 credit card charges, up 13 percent from nearly 18,000 for the same period last year. The charges totaled more than $55 million. There had been nearly 100,000 EFW 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 for information on enrolling in EFTPS.

Cumulative through the week ending 3/16/01 and 3/15/02 

                         2001          2002       % Change 
Individual Income Tax Returns
Total Receipts        58,234,000     60,330,000       3.6 
Total Processed       50,427,000     52,941,000       5.0 

E-filing Receipts: 
TOTAL                 29,310,000     33,121,000      13.0
TeleFile (phone)       3,468,000      3,231,000     - 6.8
Computer              25,842,000     29,890,000      15.7
Tax Professionals     21,653,000     24,043,000      11.0       
Self-prepared          4,189,000      5,847,000      39.6

Refunds Certified by the Martinsburg Computing Center: 
Number                46,286,000     48,188,000       4.1 
Amount of principal      $82.899 b.     $96.545 b.   16.5 
Average refund            $1,791         $2,004      11.9 

Direct Deposit Refunds: 
Number                24,155,000     27,583,000      14.2 
Amount                   $53.019 b.     $66.167 b.   24.8 
Average                   $2,195         $2,399       9.3

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