Did you know that it is illegal for a merchant to photocopy your Federal Government ID?  US Code Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 33, 701 states:   Whoever manufactures, sells, or possesses any badge, identification card, or other insignia, of the design prescribed by the head of any department or agency of the United States for use by any officer or employee thereof, or any colorable imitation thereof, or photographs, prints, or in any other manner makes or executes any engraving, photograph, print, or impression in the likeness of any such badge, identification card, or other insignia, or any colorable imitation thereof, except as authorized under regulations made pursuant to law, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

Tax Information for Vendors

Accepting the GSA SmartPay Charge Card

Why should I accept the GSA SmartPay Charge Card?
The GSA SmartPay charge card is the preferred form of payment for the Federal government, as it provides government employees with a convenient way to make purchases essential for agencies/organizations mission delivery.  It also provides the opportunity to generate refunds for their agencies/organizations.  With more than 3 million GSA SmartPay charge cards in circulation, including 300,000 Purchase Cards, more than 2 million Travel Cards, and nearly 700,000 Fleet Cards, the GSA SmartPay Program is the largest government charge card program in the world.  These cards are all easily recognizable for vendors, as they clearly designate that they are Federal government cards and include BIN numbers to verify their government status.  There are no government order forms required to process these cards which leads to reduced billing and collection costs and helps facilitate electronic commerce.

How do I accept the GSA SmartPay Charge Card?
If you currently accept Visa, MasterCard, Voyager© and/or Wright Express© then you are already set up to accept the GSA SmartPay charge cards.  If your business does not currently accept charge cards, please reach out to your merchant bank or one of the GSA SmartPay contractor banks to discuss accepting charge cards.

What are my costs?
If your organization already accepts charge cards, there is no cost.  Previously negotiated transaction fees apply to GSA SmartPay charge card transactions.

What is a Merchant Category Code (MCC)?
The Merchant Category Code (MCC) is a four-digit number assigned to a business by Visa or Mastercard when the business first starts accepting one of these forms of payment.  The MCC is assigned based on the supplier’s primary line of business.  Certain MCCs are blocked by federal government agencies to prevent fraud and misuse. In the event that your company is experiencing problems accepting GSA SmartPay charge cards, please verify with the agency that your business's MCC is not blocked.  If the MCC assigned is incorrect, please contact Visa or MasterCard. 

Purchase Card Tax Best Practices

  • Verify that the customer is a federal government employee
  • Purchase cards are centrally billed accounts (CBAs) and therefore will be tax exempt in every state
  • Make sure to know if your state requires a form to grant exemption.  13 states require forms for CBAs.
  • Should you be unsure of when to assess tax, please contact your state’s revenue collection entity

Travel Card Tax Best Practices

  • Familiarize yourself with your state’s tax policies and requirements in the event a federal government traveler presents you with a GSA SmartPay Travel Card
  • If your state exempts IBA taxes, know whether or not your state requires you to provide the federal government traveler with a state tax exemption form
  • Note that it is unlawful to photocopy government identification
  • When in doubt about accessing state tax to a federal government traveler, , please contact your state’s revenue collection entity

Fleet Card Tax Best Practices

  • Honor tax exemption related to maintenance expenses for all federal government employees who use a GSA SmartPay Fleet, Voyager, or Wright Express branded card
  • If the maintenance transaction is over $100, call the GSA Fleet Control Center to verify the tax exemption status (documentation will be provided at that time)


The GSA SmartPay® program provides charge cards to agencies/departments throughout the U.S. government, as well as tribal governments, through master contracts that are negotiated with major national banks.

SmartPay® Charge Cards are for Official U.S. Government usage only.


T: 703.605.2808 | Email Support: gsa_smartpay@gsa.gov
This is an official U.S. Government Web site managed by the GSA.