If you are an employee, you probably have taxes withheld from your paycheck and never have to worry about making quarterly estimated tax payments. However, if you are self employed and don’t have any taxes withheld, or you don’t have enough tax withheld as an employee, you may need to make estimated tax payments throughout the year to avoid costly penalties.
You should pay estimated taxes if you expect to owe at least $1,000 in tax for the 2016 tax year, after subtracting your withholdings and refundable tax credits. Even if you owe more than $1,000 when you file your 2016 tax return, you can keep yourself safe from penalties if your total withholdings and timely estimated tax payments equal at least 90% of your 2016 tax, or 100% of your 2015 tax (110% if your 2015 income exceeded $150,000).
You normally make estimated tax payments four times a year. The dates that apply to most people for 2016 are April 18, June 15 and Sept. 15. There is one last payment on Jan. 17, 2017.
If you filed your 2015 tax return with AA Tax CPA and owe estimated tax payments, we included vouchers to mail to the IRS with payments throughout the year. Federal estimated tax payments can also be paid online at www.irs.gov/payments.