5 Things Self-Employed Pros Need to Know About the Estimated Tax Deadline

Powering Prosperity, Self-Employed A couple working on taxes in the comfort of their kitchen.

It’s that time of year again! The self-employed estimated tax deadline for the 2nd quarter has arrived. But don’t fret – between our QuickBooks and TurboTax communities, we have an arsenal of support and resources for you self-employed pros out there to get you filing in no time.

Here are a few last minute things for you or the self-employed folks in your life to know, to feel prepared, confident, and empowered to handle taxes like the pros you are.

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1. What Are “Estimated Taxes”?

If you are newly self-employed, you may have no idea what estimated taxes are.

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. 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 like employees do, and are subject to quarterly estimated taxes. In general, you are expected to pay estimated taxes if you owe $1,000 or more annually.

2. When Are My Estimated Taxes Due?

Today is the deadline for the 2nd quarter for 2018 taxes. Here’s the rest of the schedule for 2018 taxes:

  • 1st Quarter (January 1 – March 31):  April 17 (completed…yay!)
  • 2nd Quarter (April 1 – May 31): June 15 (today!)
  • 3rd Quarter (June 1- August 31): September 17
  • 4th Quarter (September 1 – December 31): January 15, 2019

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

Don’t forget that the final fourth quarter payment for your 2018 taxes is January 15, 2019!

3. How Do I Know The Correct Estimated Taxes Payment?

If your business is growing, the simplest way is to take your tax obligation from last year, and make four equal payments that total slightly more than that amount. If you are a high-income taxpayer, make that four equal payments that total slightly more than 110%.

Otherwise, keep track of your income and expenses meticulously, so you can calculate actual taxes due each quarter. QuickBooks Self-Employed easily calculates your quarterly estimated taxes through your business income, expenses, and tax-deductible mileage year-round. At the end of the year, QuickBooks Self-Employed gives you the ability to export your Schedule C information, mileage, and receipts from QuickBooks Self-Employed to TurboTax Self-Employed to make your annual tax filing even easier.

4. How Do I Pay My Estimated Taxes?

There are a number of ways you can pay your estimated tax payments.

If you are using QuickBooks Self-Employed, you have the option to electronically file your quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS. This process of e-filing is fast, and results in less errors because you won’t have to re-enter information into your checkbook or the IRS computer system.

Another option is paying your taxes using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) to pay your estimated taxes. This option is also free.

Lastly, the IRS has specific mailing addresses based on the state where you live, if you’d like to file directly by mail. But be aware that your payments should be postmarked by the due date to avoid penalties.

5. What If I Still Have Questions?

If you still have questions, reach out to a CPA or Enrolled Agent from your home. You can connect live via one-way video to a TurboTax Live CPA or Enrolled Agent to get your tax questions answered from anywhere with internet.

Another neat fact: A TurboTax Live CPA or Enrolled Agent can also review, sign, and file your tax return for you. Don’t let the deadline pass without filing your estimated taxes!

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