Are Credit Card Fees Tax Deductible? The Ultimate Guide

Do you own or run a small business? If so, you’ve probably wondered this common question: Are Credit Card Fees Tax Deductible?

Updated April 2024
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Fact checked by John Wayman

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A Guide to Understanding the Tax Implications of Credit Card Fees

Credit cards are a convenient way to make purchases, but they often come with fees (for both the customer and the merchant!). Have you ever wondered if credit card fees are tax deductible? The answer isn’t straightforward, but understanding the tax implications of credit card fees can save you money come tax season.

Understanding Credit Card Fees

Credit card companies charge various fees to their customers. These fees can include transaction fees, annual fees, foreign transaction fees, balance transfer fees, cash advance fees, late payment fees, and more. Some of these fees are avoidable, while others are not.

Types of Credit Card Fees

  • Annual fees are charged each year for the use of the card. Annual fees can range from $0 to $500 or more, depending on the credit card.
  • Foreign transaction fees are charged when the transaction occurs in a different country. They typically range from 1% to 3% of the transaction.
  • Balance transfer fees are charged when you move a balance from one card to another. Balance transfer fees typically range from 3% to 5% of the transferred balance.
  • Cash advance fees are charged when you withdraw cash from an ATM. Cash advance fees typically range from 3% to 5% of the amount of the cash advance.
  • Late payment fees are charged when you miss a payment deadline. Late payment fees typically range from $25 to $35.

How Credit Card Fees Impact Your Finances

Credit card fees can quickly add up and impact your financial situation. For example, a $100 purchase with a 3% transaction fee will cost you $103. If you carry a balance on your card with a 15% APR (which is a pretty low APR for a credit card, the average is over 20%), that $103 purchase will cost you $118.45 after one year of interest charges. Being aware of the fees you’re being charged can help you make informed decisions about how and when to use your credit card.

$58 is the average annual fee for credit cards in the united states

Tax Deductibility of Credit Card Fees

Are credit card fees tax deductible? The answer is: it depends. The tax implications of credit card fees are based on several factors, including the type of fee, the purpose of the fee, and whether the fee is related to a business or personal expense.

When it comes to taxes, every penny counts. That’s why it’s important to understand the tax implications of credit card fees. Credit card fees can add up quickly, especially if you use your card frequently. But, if you’re using your credit card for business expenses, you may be able to deduct some or all of those fees on your tax return.

General Rules for Tax Deductibility

Generally, credit card fees that are related to business expenses are tax deductible. However, personal credit card fees are not tax deductible. Only the portion of the fee that is related to the business use of the card can be deducted. If the credit card is used for both personal and business expenses, you must determine the percentage of each and only deduct the business portion.

It’s important to keep accurate records of your credit card expenses. Make sure you have receipts and other documentation to support your deductions. The IRS may ask for proof of your expenses, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Business vs. Personal Credit Card Fees

Business credit card fees are tax deductible because they are considered expenses related to producing income. However, personal credit card fees are not deductible because they are considered personal expenses. If you use your personal credit card for business expenses, you can deduct the portion of the fee that is related to the business use. Keep in mind that you must keep accurate records and receipts to support your deductions.

It’s important to note that if you’re self-employed, you may be able to deduct all of your credit card fees, even if you use your card for personal expenses. This is because self-employed individuals are allowed to deduct expenses related to their business, even if those expenses are also used for personal purposes. If you’re not sure, you may want to consult with a tax professional, though. 

Specific Credit Card Fees and Their Tax Implications

Some credit card fees have specific tax implications. For example, foreign transaction fees may be deductible if they are related to a business expense. Cash advance fees may also be deductible if they are used for business purposes. Consult with a tax professional or use tax software to ensure you are deducting the correct amount of fees.

In conclusion, credit card fees can be tax deductible if they are related to a business expense. Keep accurate records and receipts to support your deductions, and consult with a tax professional if you’re unsure about the tax implications of your credit card fees.

$80B+ is the estimated amount that merchants pay in credit card fees every year

Maximizing Your Tax Deductions

Keeping accurate records and receipts is essential for maximizing your tax deductions related to credit card fees. Here are some tips for doing so:

Keeping Accurate Records of Your Credit Card Fees

When it comes to credit card fees, keeping accurate records is crucial. By doing so, you can ensure that you’re able to claim all of the deductions you’re entitled to. Here are some tips for keeping accurate records:

  • Save your credit card statements, receipts and invoices. Make sure to keep them organized and in a safe place.
  • Track your credit card expenses in a spreadsheet or software program. This will make it easier to categorize your expenses and prepare your taxes.
  • Categorize expenses as personal or business. This will help you determine which expenses are deductible and which are not.
  • Don’t forget to include any fees associated with your credit card, such as annual fees or balance transfer fees.

Consulting a Tax Professional

If you’re unsure about the tax implications of your credit card fees, consulting a tax professional can provide valuable insight and ensure that you’re maximizing your deductions. A tax professional can help you understand the complex tax laws and regulations related to credit card fees, and can also help you identify expenses that you may have missed. They can also provide guidance on how to properly document your expenses and ensure that you’re in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

Utilizing Tax Software to Identify Deductible Expenses

Tax software can be a valuable tool for identifying deductible expenses related to your credit card fees. By categorizing your expenses and providing detailed reports, tax software can simplify the process of preparing your taxes. Some popular tax software options include Tax Slayer or Free Tax USA. These programs can help you identify deductions you may have missed, and can also help you file your taxes electronically for a faster and more efficient process.

By following these tips, you can ensure that you’re maximizing your tax deductions related to credit card fees. Keeping accurate records, consulting a tax professional, and utilizing tax software can all help you stay on top of your finances and minimize your tax liability.

Credit Card fees that are legitimate businesses expenses are deductible 

Understanding the tax implications of credit card fees can save you money and hassle come tax season. Keep accurate records and consult with a tax professional to ensure you’re maximizing your deductions. With a little effort, you can use your credit card strategically and minimize its impact on your taxes.

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Editor's Note:

At Personal Finance Guru, we want to help you maximize your lifestyle through personal finance. You can trust the integrity of our independent financial advice. Our opinions are our own and have not been provided, reviewed, approved, or endorsed by any advertiser or financial product provider. To support and grow the site, however, we may receive compensation from the issuers of some products.
Cathy Gresham

Cathy Gresham

Editor & Author

Cathy Gresham is a finance whiz. 

After earning her MBA from The Wharton School, she has worked in strategy at some of the world’s largest and most influential financial companies for 20+ years. Notably, she has worked for the biggest credit card issuers and networks and brings an insider’s perspective to how credit card products work behind the scenes.  

Cathy is passionate about personal finance and investing, and loves helping people learn about these complex topics. Her wit and humor make learning about money fun, and she’s always happy to share her knowledge with others.

Cathy enjoys spending time with her family and friends when she’s not crunching numbers or developing investment strategies. She’s also an avid runner, and can often be found pounding the pavement on her morning jog.