IRS Takes Charge

You can use plastic to pay taxes. But you may be better off owing Uncle Sam than MasterCard

As if we don't have enough credit-card debt, this year Uncle Sam will begin accepting plastic from those who owe tax come April 15. Charging your taxes may be a nifty way to rack up frequent-flyer miles, and for some 30 million electronic filers it's a convenient way to complete a paperless tax return. For Uncle, it's certainly a convenient way to shift the burden of collection. But if you'll need to carry the debt a while, choosing plastic is a mistake--unless you carry it all the way to personal bankruptcy court. Let me explain.

For years, credit-card companies have been...

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