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IRS.gov Website

Frequently Asked Tax Questions

Estimated Tax - Individuals

  1. How do I know if I have to file quarterly individual estimated tax payments?
  2. Do self-employment taxes need to be paid quarterly or yearly?
  3. When are the quarterly estimated tax returns due?
  4. How do I report the estimated payments I have made when I file my taxes at the end of the year?

Rev. date: 08/04/2012

How do I know if I have to file quarterly individual estimated tax payments?

You must make estimated tax payments for the current tax year if both of the following apply:
There are special rules for:

Rev. date: 08/04/2012

Do self-employment taxes need to be paid quarterly or yearly?

If you are required to make estimated tax payments, self-employment tax is paid by making quarterly estimated tax payments which include both income tax and social security tax.

Rev. date: 08/04/2012

When are the quarterly estimated tax returns due?

When To Pay Estimated Tax
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.
Jan 11 – Mar 31:  Due date April 15
Apr 1    – May 31:  Due date June 15
Jun 1   – Aug 31:  Due date September 15
Sep 1  – Dec 31:  Due date January 15 of the following year

Rev. date: 08/04/2012

How do I report the estimated payments I have made when I file my taxes at the end of the year?

Take credit for all your estimated tax payments in the "Payments" section of Form 1040 (PDF), U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, line 63 or Form 1040A (PDF), U.S. Individual Income Tax Return line 37.  Include any overpayment from your prior year tax return that you had credited to your estimated tax for the following year.  You cannot file Form 1040EZ if you paid estimated tax.