Self Employed

When Are Quarterly Estimated Taxes Due?

Manasa Reddigari

If you’re a self-employed worker, your taxes can be a bit more complex. If that’s you, be aware of these important estimated tax due dates.

Quarterly Estimated Tax Due Dates

Income Received for the Period | Estimated Tax Due Date

Jan. 1 through March 31 | April 15

April 1 through May 31 | June 15

June 1 through Aug. 31 | Sept. 15

Sept. 1 through Dec. 31 | Jan. 15 of the following year

What Do Estimated Tax Payments Cover?

Remember, this estimated tax payment deadline does not apply to wages received in the previous year. The payment should cover taxes incurred from income received during the first quarter of your taxable year. Only pay estimated taxes for income earned between January 1st through March 31st.

Each tax date cover taxes incurred from income during the previous three full months preceding it. The estimated tax due dates can vary depending on holidays and weekend but in general, they will fall during the same time window each year.

What Are Estimated Taxes?

Estimated taxes are a method of paying Income, Social Security and Medicare taxes on a quarterly basis. This is on income that is not otherwise subject to traditional withholding. This could include wages from self-employment, interests, dividends, rent or alimony. If you don’t elect voluntary tax withholding, you may need to make estimated tax payment on such forms of income as unemployment or social security benefits.

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Do Sole Proprietors Have to Pay Taxes Quarterly?

In general, the IRS advises that you must pay these taxes if both of the following criteria apply:

  • You owe or expect to owe at least $1,000 in taxes in 2016 (after subtracting any withholding and refundable credits)
  • Your withholding and refundable credits are less than or are expected to be lower than the lesser of: 90 percent of the tax indicated on your 2017 tax return or 100 percent of the tax indicated on your 2016 tax return. Your 2017 tax return should cover 12 months.

Where Can I Find More Resources About Estimated Taxes?

See Tips for Paying Estimated Taxes for a primer on who owes estimated tax.

These guidelines vary for farmers, fishermen and high-income taxpayers. For more information, see “Special Rules” in Form 1040-ES.

Of course, not every individual owes estimated taxes, and some noteworthy exceptions apply. For example, you may not owe estimated taxes if you were a U.S. citizen or resident alien and you had zero tax liability for the calendar year, or you were not required to file a tax return.

How Do I Pay Quarterly Estimated Tax Payment?

You can use Form 1040-ES to pay quarterly estimated taxes. These include a worksheet for figuring estimated tax. The IRS accepts an electronic transfer, credit card, checks or money order. You can pay by phone or online.

Do I Have To Make Estimated Tax Payments?

If you make your living as a self-employed worker, you’ll likely have to make estimated tax payments You must pay estimated taxes if you expect to owe at least $1,000 in federal tax for the year.

There are a few exceptions, though. If you paid no taxes last year, you don’t have to pay estimated taxes. You also don’t have to pay estimated taxes if you have a W2 job and the amount withheld is at least 90 percent of the total tax you’ll have to pay.

Check with your local tax pro before making any decisions, though. If you fail to make estimated tax payments, you may face IRS penalties.

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