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A Trip To 7-Eleven To Buy Snacks and Gas Can Now Include Paying Taxes—in Cash
April 6, 2016

By Jim Daly

With the April 18 tax-filing deadline bearing down, a new cash-payment option from the Internal Revenue Service and payment processors PayNearMe and Official Payments lets consumers pay federal income taxes in cash at 7-Eleven convenience stores—and if there’s any money left, they can ease the pain with a Slurpee.

Image Credit: PayNearMe
The cash option could address the needs of "hundreds of thousands" of taxpayers, says Christian Solomine, a PayNearMe executive.

PayNearMe, a specialist in online cash payments, says the service went live Feb. 29 and is the first cash tax-payment option available outside of the IRS’s 400 field offices. 7-Eleven has more than 7,000 convenience stores in the U.S., and most are open 24 hours every day.

While most consumers who owe taxes in April pay electronically or by check, Christian Solomine, senior vice president of Sunnyvale, Calif.-based PayNearMe’s enterprise and government division, tells Digital Transactions News that the IRS gets “hundreds of thousands” of annual consumer tax payments and quarterly payments from businesses in cash at its offices.

The IRS last June indicated to its three payment card processors—Official Payments, Link2Gov Corp. and WorldPay US—that it wanted to expand its cash-acceptance scope. Partnering with Official Payments, PayNearMe was the first to roll out such a service with Dallas-based 7-Eleven Inc. as its retail outlet. It could not be immediately determined if Link2Gov and Worldpay plan to offer similar services.

For the IRS cash project, PayNearMe linked its system with that of Official Payments, a specialist processor owned by Naples, Fla.-based ACI Worldwide Inc. Official Payments says it has processed $14 billion in tax payments since it began working with the IRS in 1999.

To make a cash tax payment at 7-Eleven, a taxpayer first goes online to www.officialpayments.com/fed to obtain a PayNearMe bar code. The taxpayer chooses the correct IRS online form, then selects “Pay with Cash.” Next, the taxpayer elects whether to receive the bar code via email to print, or on his or her smart phone, receipt of which comes with a list of nearby 7-Eleven stores.

At 7-Eleven, the clerk scans the bar code, whose information includes the exact tax amount owed. The taxpayer pays the cash in addition to a $3.99 flat fee, and gets a printed receipt as well as a digital one. PayNearMe sends the transaction information back to Official Payments, which then updates its ledger. Payments typically are posted within two business days, according to PayNearMe.

The cash tax payment may not exceed $1,000 per day, PayNearMe said. Taxpayers can make two payments per tax period using the new method. The service will remain active after April 18 for quarterly tax payments.

Solomine says the demographic of potential cash taxpayers is not huge. “I would say that the addressable market is in the hundreds of thousands of people rather than millions of people,” he says.

Nonetheless, the service should be a new source of revenue for PayNearMe and 7-Eleven, which gets a share of the fee, as well as a convenience for taxpayers. PayNearMe and 7-Eleven already work together on cash-based mobile bill payments.

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