For estimated tax purposes, the year is divided into four payment periods. Each period has a specific payment due date. If you do not pay enough tax by the due date of each of the payment periods, you may be charged a penalty even if you are due a refund when you file your income tax return.
If a payment is mailed, the date of the U.S. postmark is considered the date of payment. The payment periods and due dates for estimated tax payments are shown next.
|For the period:||Due date:|
|Jan. 11 – March 31||April 15|
|April 1 – May 31||June 15|
|June 1 – August 31||September 15|
|Sept. 1 – Dec. 31||January 15 |
If the due date for an estimated tax payment falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the payment will be on time if you make it on the next day that is not Saturday, Sunday, or a holiday.
In 2011, January 15 is a Saturday and Monday, January 17 is a holiday. The due date for the January 15, 2011, payment will be January 18.taxmap/pubs/p505-013.htm#en_us_publink10007386
If you file your 2010 Form 1040 or Form 1040A by January 31, 2011, and pay the rest of the tax you owe, you do not need to make the payment due on January 18, 2011. taxmap/pubs/p505-013.htm#en_us_publink10007387
Janet Adams does not pay any estimated tax for 2010. She files her 2010 income tax return and pays the balance due shown on her return on January 26, 2011.
Janet's estimated tax for the fourth payment period is considered to have been paid on time. However, she may owe a penalty for not making the first three estimated tax payments, if required. Any penalty for not making those payments will be figured up to January 26, 2011. taxmap/pubs/p505-013.htm#en_us_publink10007388
If your tax year does not start on January 1, your payment due dates are:
- The 15th day of the 4th month of your fiscal year,
- The 15th day of the 6th month of your fiscal year,
- The 15th day of the 9th month of your fiscal year, and
- The 15th day of the 1st month after the end of your fiscal year.
You do not have to make the last payment listed above if you file your income tax return by the last day of the first month after the end of your fiscal year and pay all the tax you owe with your return. taxmap/pubs/p505-013.htm#en_us_publink10007389
You do not have to make estimated tax payments until you have income on which you will owe income tax. If you have income subject to estimated tax during the first payment period, you must make your first payment by the due date for the first payment period. You can pay all your estimated tax at that time, or you can pay it in installments. If you choose to pay in installments, make your first payment by the due date for the first payment period. Make your remaining installment payments by the due dates for the later periods. taxmap/pubs/p505-013.htm#en_us_publink10007390
If you do not have income subject to estimated tax until a later payment period, you must make your first payment by the due date for that period. You can pay your entire estimated tax by the due date for that period or you can pay it in installments by the due date for that period and the due dates for the remaining periods. Table 2-1 shows the dates for making installment payments.
Table 2-1. Due Dates for Estimated Tax Installment Payments
|If you first have income on which you must pay estimated tax:||Make a|
|Make later |
|Before April 1||April 15||June 15|
| || ||Sept. 15|
| || ||Jan. 15 next year|
|April 1–May 31||June 15||Sept. 15|
| || ||Jan. 15 next year|
|June 1–Aug. 31||Sept. 15||Jan. 15 next year|
|After Aug. 31||Jan. 15 |
If at least two-thirds of your gross income for 2009 or 2010 is from farming or fishing, you have only one payment due date for your 2010 estimated tax, January 15, 2011. The due dates for the first three payment periods, discussed under When To Pay Estimated Tax
on this page, do not apply to you.
If you file your 2010 Form 1040 by March 1, 2011, and pay all the tax you owe at that time, you do not need to make an estimated tax payment. taxmap/pubs/p505-013.htm#en_us_publink10007393
If you are a farmer or fisherman, but your tax year does not start on January 1, you can either:
- Pay all your estimated tax by the 15th day after the end of your tax year, or
- File your return and pay all the tax you owe by the 1st day of the 3rd month after the end of your tax year.