Dave Says: Pay taxes now or later?

Dear Dave,

My husband and I owe $3,500 in federal taxes, along with $3,000 in state taxes. We’re both still working during the pandemic scare. Would it better to wait until the new July 15 due date to pay taxes, and pay off other debt in the meantime, or go ahead and pay state and federal taxes now, and take care of our other debts with what we have leftover monthly?


Dear Erica,

If you’re talking about back taxes, I’d say pay them now. You don’t want to play around with the IRS, because they can really mess you up if they decide they’re coming for you.

But if you’re talking about taxes for 2019, I’d go ahead and include them in your debt snowball. If you need to move them up in your debt snowball in order to pay them on time, that’s fine. Whatever you do, don’t pay them late. Sit down together, and lay out a game plan that includes paying your taxes—and all your other debts—on time!