TULSA - The IRS says the main thing is to file your return on time no matter what.
Even if you can't pay your full tax bill by April 17 at least you won't be hit with a late filing penalty.
Paying by credit card is an option but be aware you'll have to pay a processing fee to a third party company in addition to any interest if you can't pay in full the next time your credit card bill is due.
The IRS offers this information for people having trouble paying their tax bill this year:
If you owe tax with your federal tax return, but can't afford to pay it all when you file, the IRS wants you to know your options and help you keep interest and penalties to a minimum.
Here are five tips:
1. File your return on time and pay as much as you can with the return. These steps will eliminate the late filing penalty, reduce the late payment penalty and cut down on interest charges. Click here (http://1.usa.gov/9domL7) for electronic and credit card options for paying. You may also mail a check payable to the United States Treasury
2. Consider obtaining a loan or paying by credit card. The interest rate and fees charged by a bank or credit card company may be lower than interest and penalties imposed by the Internal Revenue Code.
3. Request an installment payment agreement. You do not need to wait for IRS to send you a bill before requesting a payment agreement. Options for requesting an agreement include:
Using the Online Payment Agreement application (http://1.usa.gov/1yKtc) and completing and submitting IRS Form 9465-FS (http://1.usa.gov/HsvDX3) with your return.
The IRS charges a user fee to set up your payment agreement. Click here (http://1.usa.gov/nmiuCf) to see information about a payment agreement.
4. Request an extension of time to pay. For tax year 2011, qualifying individuals may request an extension of time to pay and have the late payment penalty waived as part of the IRS Fresh Start Initiative. Click here (http://1.usa.gov/xhQjtY) to see if you qualify. But hurry, your application must be filed by April 17.
5. If you receive a bill from the IRS, please contact us immediately to discuss these and other payment options. Ignoring the bill will only compound your problem and could lead to IRS collection action.
If you can't pay in full and on time, the key to minimizing your penalty and interest charges is to pay as much as possible by the tax deadline and the balance as soon as you can. For more information on the IRS collection process go to or see IRSVideos.gov/OweTaxes .
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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