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

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Perhaps you’ve taken the plunge into self-employment. Congrats on being your own boss! Whether you’re working as a contractor or making money in the fast-growing sharing economy, don’t forget you may need to pay estimated taxes. The upcoming second quarter estimated tax deadline for 2017 is June 15, 2017.

Are you prepared? If not, don’t worry!

Who is Subject to Estimated Taxes?

In the United States, we have a “pay as you go” tax system. That means 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 annually 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 for 2017 taxes:

  • 1st Quarter (January 1 – March 31):  April 18
  • 2nd Quarter (April 1 – May 31): June 15
  • 3rd Quarter (June 1- August 31): September 15
  • 4th Quarter (September 1 – December 31): January 16, 2018

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?

You can use QuickBooks Self-Employed to track your income, expenses, mileage, and figure out your estimated taxes year round. 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 Self-Employed 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.  You can also use TurboTax TaxCaster to get an estimate of your tax situation and see if you should make an estimated tax payment.

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.  When you use QuickBooks Self-Employed for your business, the program will a 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.

Don’t worry about remembering all of this information. TurboTax Self-Employed has you covered and will help you uncover business expenses to help you save on your taxes.

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

Comments (6) Leave your comment

  1. If a person becomes self employed in the middle of the year, when are you required to make estimated tax payments? i.e. becomes self employed in July 2017…. is there a payment due September 15, 2017 or do file your taxes for 2017 as before and start estimated payments on April 15, 2018?

    1. Hi Kim,
      Whether you pay estimated taxes in September depends on how much taxes you expect to owe in 2017. If you expect to owe $1,000 or more for the year then you are expected to pay estimated taxes by the due date to avoid any underpayment penalty. QuickBooks Self-Employed will help you easily figure out your estimated taxes https://quickbooks.intuit.com/self-employed/
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  2. I need to know if I start a hobby/sole proprietor business not an LLC can I pay my taxes on a yearly basis? Please answer ASAP.Thanks.
    David P.Thobaben

  3. Goodmorning. I filed my fedreal return on January 7. I was accepted on January 11 2016. Will I be seeing a refund date to my netspend card anytime soon?

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