Tag Archives: estimated-taxes

How and when to pay estimated taxes

Certain taxpayers must make estimated tax payments throughout the year. Taxpayers must generally pay at least 90 percent of their taxes throughout the year through withholding, estimated tax payments or a combination of the two. If they don’t, they may owe an estimated tax penalty.

For tax-year 2018, the remaining estimated tax payment due dates are Sept. 17, 2018 and Jan. 15, 2019.

Estimated tax is the method used to pay tax on income that is not subject to withholding. This income includes earnings from self-employment, interest, dividends, rents, and alimony. Taxpayers who do not choose to have taxes withheld from other taxable income should also make estimated tax payments. This other income includes unemployment compensation and the taxable part of Social Security benefits.

The IRS urges everyone who works as an employee and who also earns or has income from other sources to perform a Paycheck Checkup now. Doing so will help avoid an unexpected year-end tax bill and possibly a penalty when the taxpayer files their 2018 tax return next year. They can do a checkup using the Withholding Calculator on IRS.gov.

Here are some things to know for taxpayers who make estimated payments:

  • Taxpayers can pay their taxes throughout the year anytime. They must select the tax year and tax type or form when paying electronically.
  • Filers paying by check should make it out to the “United States Treasury” and indicate the tax year and type of taxes they are paying.
  • Taxpayers in presidentially-declared disaster areas may have more time to make these payments without penalty.
  • For easy and secure ways to make estimated tax payments, use is IRS Direct Pay or the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System. IRS.gov/payments has information on all payment options.
  • Taxpayers can find more information about tax withholding and estimated tax at the Pay As You Go page IRS.gov.
  • Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, is another resource for taxpayers. Publication 505 has worksheets and examples, which can help taxpayers determine whether they should pay estimated tax.

More Information:
Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals
Tax Reform

10 Million Taxpayers Face an Estimated Tax Penalty Each Year; Act Now to Reduce or Avoid it for 2017

The IRS has seen an increasing number of taxpayer’s subject to estimated tax penalties, which apply when someone underpays their taxes. The number of people who paid this penalty jumped from 7.2 million in 2010 to 10 million in 2015, an increase of nearly 40 percent. The penalty amount varies, but can be several hundred dollars.

The IRS urges taxpayers to check into their options to avoid these penalties. Adjusting withholding on their paychecks or the amount of their estimated tax payments can help prevent penalties. This is especially important for people in the sharing economy, those with more than one job and those with major changes in their life, like a recent marriage or a new child.

There are some simple tips to help taxpayers:

Having enough tax withheld or making quarterly estimated tax payments during the year can help you avoid problems at tax time.

Taxes are pay-as-you-go. This means that you need to pay most of your tax during the year, as you receive income, rather than paying at the end of the year.

There are two ways to pay tax:

Withholding from your pay, your pension or certain government payments, such as Social Security.

Making quarterly estimated tax payments during the year.

This will help you avoid a surprise tax bill when you file your return. You can also avoid interest or the Estimated Tax Penalty for paying too little tax during the year. Ordinarily, you can avoid this penalty by paying at least 90 percent of your tax during the year.

Why you should change your withholding or make estimated tax payments:

If you want to avoid a large tax bill, you may need to change your withholding. Changes in your life, such as marriage, divorce, working a second job, running a side business or receiving any other income without withholding can affect the amount of tax you owe. And if you work as an employee, you don’t have to make estimated tax payments if you have more tax withheld from your paycheck. This may be a convenient option if you also have a side job or a part-time business.

Some income is not subject to withholding. This includes some income from self-employment, the sharing economy or some rental activities. Be sure to make estimated tax payments on those sources of income throughout the year. You may also make estimated tax payments if the withholding from your salary, pension or other income doesn’t cover your income tax for the year.

You make your estimated payments based on the income you expect to earn and any credits you expect to receive in the year. You can use your prior year tax return as a guide and Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals has a worksheet to help you figure your estimated payments.

You can use estimated tax payments to pay both income tax and self-employment tax (Social Security and Medicare).