Self-Employed? Don’t Forget About the Estimated Tax Deadline

Tax Planning

Perhaps you’ve taken the plunge into self-employment and added the luxury of being your own boss and working at your home office in your PJs. Whether you’re working as a contractor or enjoying making money in the fast-growing sharing economy don’t forget you may need to pay estimated taxes and the upcoming 3rd quarter estimated tax deadline is September 15th.

Are you prepared? If not, don’t worry. I have tips to help you.

Who is Subject to Estimated Taxes?

In the United States since we have a “pay as you go” tax system the government expects most of your taxes throughout the year. Employees have a certain amount of taxes automatically withheld from their paychecks.

On the other hand, if you are self-employed as a freelancer, contractor, or home-based entrepreneur you most likely don’t have taxes withheld from your pay throughout the year and are subject to estimated taxes. In general, you are expected to pay estimated taxes if you expect to owe $1,000 or more for your taxes.

When Are Estimated Taxes Due?

The good news is the IRS has a schedule to help you figure out when you need to pay.

Here’s the schedule:

  • 1st Quarter (January 1 – March 31): April 15
  • 2nd Quarter (April 1 – May 31): June 15
  • 3rd Quarter (June 1- August 31): September 15
  • 4th Quarter (September 1 – December 31): January 15

If the 15th falls on a weekend or a holiday, then the due date is the next weekday.

How Can I Figure Out My Estimated Taxes?

If you use QuickBooks Self-Employed for your business, the program does the math for you and helps you figure out your estimated taxes so you can easily make the estimated tax deadline. At the end of the year, QuickBooks Self-Employed gives you the ability to export your Schedule C information from QuickBooks Self-Employed to TurboTax to make your annual tax filing easier.

When you prepare your taxes at tax-time, TurboTax can also automatically calculate your estimated tax payments and print out payment vouchers for you to send in to the IRS.

How Can I Pay Estimated Tax Payments?

Now that you know what you owe, it’s time to get your payment in. Fortunately, there are a few options:

  • You can mail in your payment. The IRS has specific mailing addresses based on the state where you live. Please be aware that your payments should be postmarked by the due date to avoid penalties.

Tips on Making Your Quarterly Tax Payments Easier

  • Forget filling out hand written forms.  If you use QuickBooks Self-Employed for your business, the program will figure out your estimated taxes for you. TurboTax can also figure out and generate your estimated payment vouchers automatically when you prepare your taxes using TurboTax.
  • Keep a record of all your estimated tax payments.  You will need to enter estimated taxes you paid when you file your taxes.

TurboTax Online and QuickBooks Self-Employed have you covered. There’s no need for you to know tax laws and tax forms. You can use QuickBooks Self-Employed to track your business income and expenses, estimate your quarterly taxes, and your information can easily transfer to TurboTax at tax-time.

Thoughts on Your Estimated Taxes

Do you pay quarterly estimated taxes? Do you have any additional tips for those just starting their own businesses?