This note is legal tender for all debts public and private.
So can you pay your taxes with it? A Boston University professor
tried to find out. -Editor
About two-thirds of all U.S. residents who file federal income taxes typically get a refund. Unfortunately, this year I am among the other third who owe the Internal Revenue Service money.
So I tried something I've never done before and few people do: I wanted to pay my tax bill in cash – that is, with real paper currency.
The IRS does not publish data on the methods people use to pay their taxes, but several IRS employees I spoke with told me almost no one pays the IRS in cash.
I had cash at home, but not enough. I went to the bank and made sure I got exact change in crisp new bills to make the transaction as easy as possible.
I made it to the IRS building, went through airport-style screening and checked in on time. The receptionist was polite and again told me all the ways to pay without cash. After I declined, he asked me to take a seat in the waiting area filled with people clutching paperwork. As I walked away, the receptionist did a facepalm while shaking his head, which was not a positive sign.
After a 30-minute wait, another polite IRS worker came out and told me they could not accept cash that day because no courier was scheduled. Current IRS rules require that a courier take all cash immediately to the bank because they said holding cash was not safe. This is surprising given the federal office building was swarming with armed guards and required screening to enter.
I came back a week later when another cash payer was showing up. This time I had more success. It took 30 minutes, but after completing a multipart carbon form by hand, I got a receipt that said my taxes were paid.
To read the complete article, see:
I tried to pay my taxes in cash – here's what happened, and why the IRS should make it easier to do so
Wayne Homren, Editor
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