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How to Pay Quarterly Estimated Taxes

How to Pay Quarterly Estimated Taxes

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How to Pay Quarterly Estimated Taxes 1

For all the freelancers, small business owners and self-employed individuals out there, staying on top of when the estimated tax payments are due is important to help you stay within the IRS tax payment guideline and avoid penalty. Making estimated tax payments also helps you avoid financial shortfall when you file your tax returns.

How to File Your Quarterly Estimated Tax

For Federal payment:

  1. Calculate how much you made during the quarter (i.e., profit)
  2. Calculate how much you owe. A quick way to do this is to calculate your full year effective tax rate, and multiply that percentage by the amount from line #1. You can also you a simple tax calculator like this one at SmartAsset.
  3. Subtract what you owe (line #2) by what you already paid (if any) during the quarter. The result is the amount of money you have to send to the IRS.
  4. Print out the IRS 1040-ES Form, fill out everything, and mail it along with a check to the IRS.

For your state, follow the steps above using the tax rate and form for your state.

When to Pay Your Quarterly Estimated Tax

Here’s the full schedule for 2019 tax year.

Payment Period Due Date
Q1 = January 1 – March 31 April 15
Q2 = April 1 – May 31 June 15
Q3 = June 1 – August 31 September 15
Q4 = September 1 – December 31 January 15 of the following year.

Some important notes

  • Q2 is based on only 2 months of taxable income
  • Q4 is based on 4 months of taxable income and due the following year

Remember you have to pay both the IRS and your State (unless you’re living in one of the states that does not collect income tax). Hopefully, you have been saving up for this and have money in your savings to cover the tax payments.

Frequently Asked Questions

Shouldn’t the June date actually be July?

June is the correct date. Q2 payment is due faster than the rest and you only have to pay taxes against 2 months’ worth of earnings (April and May). Subsequently, this means Q3 payment occurs in September and Q4 payment encompasses 4 months of income instead of three.

How can I lower my tax payments?

You can lower your tax liabilities by participating in a retirement plan designed for self-employed individuals and business owners.

Will the IRS tells me how much money I have to send?

No, you have to calculate the amount for both the Federal and States taxes. For Federal, you have to complete Form 1040-ES and send it along with your payment. For State, you have to search online for the appropriate form, complete it and send it in with your payment.

Alternatively, you can submit your Federal payment electronically via EFTPS; and most States should have the online equivalent.

Where should I send the estimated tax payments?

For Federal payment, the answer depends on where you live. Check the instruction included in Form 1040-ES for the correct mailing address. Similarly, check with your State tax department for the correct mailing address for your State payment.

Do quarterly tax payments have to be received by the due date or just post marked by then?

The deadline is the postmarked date.

Can the quarterly payment amount change each quarter?

Yes, the amounts can be different for each quarter depending on your earnings.

More About Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments

Quick links to IRS Form 1040-ES and P505: Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax.

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Beverly Howell
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Beverly Howell

Do quarterly tax payments have to be received by June 15 or just post marked by then ??

Kathy
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Kathy

If you miss postmarked date by two days and mailed it June 17, what will happen?

Jennifer
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Jennifer

Hi there,

Great site, very informative.

In a nutshell – first time being self-employed, didn’t work Q1, realized I’m way late to file Q2, absolutely no idea how much more I will earn this year, if I pay what I owe YTD now (it’s more than my total taxes for last year) will I be OK? What kind of penalty am I looking at otherwise?

Thanks!

Laura
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Laura

Which form do you use on the Federal EFTPS site for filing quarterly taxes?

Also, I do business in SC but none of my clients live here (online business) so how do I figure out the sales tax that I owe to my state? (I just moved to this state 2 months ago).

Josh
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Josh

I only made $174.25 last month and this month about to make about $300 so far,do I have to pay estimated taxes this month september? Also i’m really having trouble figuring out how to calculate this stuff, I don’t have any previous years to go off(was unemployeed various years). I’m guessing total taxes shouldn’t exceed 30% right?

Joseph
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Joseph

If I pay more than I am supposed to for quarterly taxes to the IRS and the state during the year, will I receive a refund back from the IRS and State just like a full time employ would?

Shawna
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Shawna

Hello! Does the IRS send a year end statement summarizing my payments? Thanks!

Ashley
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Ashley

Hi, I’m confused about the Q2 Payment. When I filed my taxes for 2011, I had my Q1 and Q2 payment forms prepared. I questioned the forms because the payment amounts were the same. The person who prepared them told me that I had to pay the same for each quarter, regardless of the shorter period. Is this correct? I reserve quite a bit for taxes, but I would essentially being paying 3/4’s of a month’s salary just to pay that amount on time.

Le'Rae
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Le'Rae

I made a payment to the IRS and calculated all my taxes within on sum. I was new to this and failed to realize that state and federal are separate. I made a check out to the IRS and did not pay the state. What should I do? How do I fix this?

Charles P Torgerson
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Charles P Torgerson

Do the estimated taxes paid Jan 15, 2013 count towards my taxes paid for 2012?

April
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April

My husband did all the paperwork for a LLC in 2012. He got all of his business licenses but hasn’t really started yet. His 2012 income is $0 – does he still need to file taxes for the business?

Bea
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Bea

I started working as a 1099 contractor in April 16, 2012. I did not get my first check until June 22, 2012. I did not make quarterly payments last year, just filed the annual return and paid full year tax at that time.

I have not made payments for this year yet, because I have only been paid hours worked in January. At this point I do not know when I will be paid or how much. Are taxes to be paid only on money actually received or for hours worked and billed?

Any insights would be appreciated.

CWalker
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CWalker

Due quarterly payment have to be postmarked prior to due date or can they be postmarked on the due date

Joan Rice
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Joan Rice

Can I have my quarterly tax payment paid automatically?

Traci
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Traci

I was in hopes of not having to pay quarterly taxes this year, but that’s not the case. I have missed two of the payments. Can I mail them now and get back on schedule? Or should I wait and pay a lump sum in April?

Becky
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Becky

I am due to file taxes on the 15th this month. Is there a late fee if I wait to pay them next quarter? This is the 2nd month for
My business and I wasnt aware I had to file quarterly so now I am completely unprepared!!

John
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John

The state sales tax is due on a quarterly schedule, the REAL QUARTERLY schedule. The Federal quarterly schedule makes no sense,3,2,3,4 moths. Make them all due on a 3mo schedule. Too much extra staggered calculating for nothing.

John
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John

The insurance and banking agency needs to come up with a new type of bank account for a small business. The account has 2 parts to it, income and tax. For every 100.00 you deposit in the income account you can stipulate what percentage (25 FED, 5 STATE and 7 SALES= 37%)gets automatically moved over to the tax account. That way you can never NOT have the tax payment money available and schedule electronic payments from the TAX account. Many small businesses get in trouble because the bank account looks good until you pay the taxes, with money going in… Read more »

Jorge
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Jorge

Hi Pinyo. I just wanted to tell you that this page and the schedule at the top has been invaluable in making sure I make my tax payments each quarter before the due dates, thank you!

John
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John

I made up monthly excel workbooks linked to another workbook. I do 15-30 jobs per month, my monthly excel workbook calculates my Fed Est, State Est and State sales tax, and gives me the total I need to put into my “TAX ACCOUNT”. I have done this for the last few months and it worked like a charm for 2013 Q4. Since you electronically transfer your tax liability money into another account at the end of every month it keeps you out of the quarterly “ut oh need some money”, as a matter of fact my monthly tax liability gets… Read more »

Denise
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Denise

If I did not make all my estimated payments for 2013 by the Jan.15th deadline is it better to pay it now (Jan 30th) or wait and pay whenI file 2013 taxes by April 15th? Will the penalty be the same amount?

Floyd Estes
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Floyd Estes

I expect lump sum long term capital gain in September from the sale of real estate. What is the due date for estimated tax payment, and is it correct that the maximum tax rate would be 15% on the net gain?

Danette
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Danette

I would like to know if I made state tax payments for 2013 and made the fourth one in January 2014 would I add that last amount to my schedule A for the one made in 2014?

Lauren
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Lauren

I make the majority of my income from my small business in October, November and December. I haven’t paid quarterly taxes in quarters 1, 2 or 3 because I have extra money taken out of my paycheck at my full-time job. But that amount won’t cover the income I made at the end of the year.

Can I pay quarterly taxes in Q4 only? Will I face a penalty for not paying the other quarterly taxes?

dave
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dave

i paid the first three estimated payments which more than satisfies this years taxes . do i have to make final payment on jan15

How to Pay Quarterly Estimated Taxes

by Pinyo Bhulipongsanon time to read: 3 min
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