America has a pay-as-you-go tax system. That means you put money toward your tax liability all year long, instead of one large payment when you file a return. In fact, the tax laws say you must pay 90% of what you owe for taxes during the year or you could face a penalty for underpaying when you file your return.
If you don’t have tax withheld from your wages, estimated tax payments are a way to make sure your taxes still get paid throughout the year, so you don’t have a huge bill or face penalties when it’s time to file your return. Quarterly estimated payments cover your federal tax liabilities like income tax, Social Security and Medicare.
As a general rule, you should make estimated tax payments if you expect to owe $1,000 or more to the IRS (after deductions and credits have been applied). A tax bill this large indicates that you are not having enough income withheld during the year to cover your liability. Consequently, you could owe a penalty if you don’t make quarterly payments.
If you do not wish to make estimated payments going forward, consider having your employer withhold more taxes from your paycheck each pay period. Here's how.
The Jan. 15 payment is your fourth and final payment for the year that has just ended. If the due date falls on a weekend or holiday, your payment is due the next business day.
*Note: If you live in a federally declared disaster area, you may have extra time to send your payments without a penalty.
To determine what your estimated payments should be, you will need to fill out Form 1040-ES. Simply download the form and enter the information manually. Note: you will need to complete this form on paper. It can't be filled out online using TaxSlayer.
Then go to Summary and create a PDF. The payment vouchers will be included in the PDF of your return. You’ll need to print out your vouchers and mail them with your payment to the IRS office in the state where you live. You can find the address for your state listed on Form 1040-ES.
Learn more about how this works in TaxSlayer here.
The best way to make an online payment is directly on the IRS website at https://www.irs.gov/payments.
Send your payment as soon as possible. Don’t just wait until the next payment is due. If you do, you could be charged interest and penalties for missing deadlines. To minimize any possible late fees, make your payment as soon as you can.
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