You just got the news from your tax preparer: Your tax return is done, and you owe the IRS.

That means you’ve got to pay up – now. Even if you file for an IRS extension , you still have pay what you owe by the April 15 filing deadline. Not paying isn’t wise. When the IRS catches up with you – and the IRS will catch up with you – you’ll owe lots more in penalties and interest.

So, how do you pay? Of course, the IRS makes it easy.  They’ve got online payment options, and they accept credit or debit card payments. If you’re struggling and can’t meet the April 15 deadline to pay your federal income tax, you can make your IRS payment over time, if approved. 

Here’s how: 

Monthly payment plan. The Online Payment Agreement is available if you owe $50,000 or less in taxes, penalties and interest. You can set up the monthly payments over a period of up to 6 years. Request an agreement by filing Form 9465 along with your tax return. 

Offer-in-Compromise. Compromise? With the IRS? Yes. With this deal, you pay the IRS less than you owe. To see if you’re eligible, the IRS will look at your financial situation, including income and assets. Then, the IRS will make its decision. For fiscal year 2014, the IRS received 68,000 requests for such offers and accepted 27,000 or about 42 percent . So, your chances are less than 50 percent that you’ll be approved.

If you don’t need extra time to pay, you can use these options by the April 15 deadline. 

IRS Direct Pay. This free online tool takes money from your checking or savings account and sends it to the IRS. You can schedule the payment date.

Electronic Funds Withdrawal. Like Direct Pay, the money comes right out of your bank account and can be done when you file your taxes online. 

Electronic Federal Tax Payment System. This free service allows you to pay taxes by phone or online. Call 800-316-6541 or visit

Credit card or debit card. If you plan to pay by credit card, first check the interest rate on your credit card and the rates charged by the IRS. See who charges more, then choose.

Check. You can always pay the old-fashioned way. Just make sure you make the check out the “United States Treasury” and that you include Form 1040-V payment voucher.

Disclaimer: Tax Lounge is an informational source for industry news and related topics. We take every effort to provide honest and accurate tax information, but this information should not be a substitute for professional tax advice. Use our office locator to find your local tax office or subscribe to our free newsletter.