How do I know if I have to file quarterly individual estimated tax payments?

Answer:

You must make estimated tax payments for the current tax year if both of the following apply:

  • You expect to owe at least $1,000 in tax for the current tax year after subtracting your withholding and refundable credits.
  • You expect your withholding and refundable credits to be less than the smaller of:
    • 90% of the tax to be shown on your current year’s tax return, or
    • 100% of the tax shown on your prior year’s tax return. (Your prior year tax return must cover all 12 months.)

There are special rules for:

  • Farmers and fishermen
  • Certain household employers
  • Certain higher income taxpayers
  • Nonresident aliens

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Should self-employment taxes be paid quarterly or yearly?

Answer:

If you determine you need to make estimated tax payments, make quarterly estimated tax payments on estimated income tax including estimated self-employment tax.

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When are quarterly estimated tax payments due?

Answer:

For estimated tax purposes, the year is divided into four payment periods. Each period has a specific payment due date. If you don't pay enough tax by the due date of each payment period, you may be charged a penalty even if you're due a refund when you file your income tax return at the end of the year.

If you mail your estimated tax payment and the date of the U.S. postmark is on or before the due date, the IRS will generally consider the payment to be on time. If you use IRS Direct Pay, you can make payments up to 8 p.m. Eastern time on the due date. If you use a credit or a debit card, you can make payments up to midnight on the due date.

When to Pay Estimated Tax

Payment Period Due Date
January 1 – March 31 April 15
April 1 – May 31 June 15
June 1 – August 31 September 15
September 1 – December 31 January 15* of the following year. *See January payment in Chapter 2 of Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax
Fiscal Year Taxpayers If your tax year doesn't begin on January 1, see the special rules for fiscal year taxpayers in Chapter 2 of Publication 505
Farmers and Fishermen See Chapter 2 of Publication 505

Note: If the due date for making an estimated tax payment falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the payment will be on time if you make it on the next day that's not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.

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When I file my taxes at the end of the year, how do I report the estimated payments I made during the year?

Answer:

Take credit for all your estimated tax payments in the "Payments" section of Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, line 65 or Form 1040A, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, line 41. Also include in that line any overpayment from your prior year tax return that you had credited to your estimated tax for the year you're reporting. You can't file Form 1040EZ, Income Tax Return for Single and Joint Filers With No Dependents, if you made estimated tax payments.

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