Mouse macrophages and lymphocytes express two distinct isoforms of a single class of Fc receptor for IgG. The macrophage isoform (FcRII-B2) is identical to the lymphocyte isoform (FcRII-B1) except for an inframe insertion in the cytoplasmic tail of FcRII-B1 that increases its length from 47 to 94 amino acids. To determine the functional significance of this cytoplasmic domain variation, presumably the result of alternative mRNA splicing, we expressed both isoforms in receptor-negative fibroblasts. While FcRII-B2 mediated the efficient ligand internalization and delivery to lysosomes, endocytosis via FcRII-B1--and via a tailminus mutant--was relatively inefficient. This difference reflected the inability of FcRII-B1 (and the tailminus mutant) to accumulate in clathrin-coated pits. Thus, the FcRII-B2 cytoplasmic tail contains a domain needed for accumulation in coated pits, and this domain is disrupted by the 47 amino acid insertion in FcRII-B1.