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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. Should self-employment taxes be paid quarterly or yearly?
  3. When are quarterly estimated tax payments due?
  4. When I file my taxes at the end of the year, how do I report the estimated payments I made during the year?

Rev. date: 12/18/2014

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: 12/18/2014

Should self-employment taxes be paid quarterly or yearly?

If you determine you need to make estimated tax payments, make quarterly estimated tax payments on estimated income tax including estimated self-employment tax.

Rev. date: 12/18/2014

When are quarterly estimated tax payments due?

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 payment period, you may be charged a penalty even if you are due a refund when you file your income tax return at the end of the year.
If you mail your estimated tax payment and the date of the U.S. postmark is on or before the due date, the IRS will generally consider the payment to be on time.
When to Pay Estimated Tax
Payment PeriodDue Date
January 1 – March 31April 15
April 1 – May 31June 15
June 1 – August 31September 15
September 1 – December 31January 15* of the following year. *See January payment in Chapter 2 of Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax
Fiscal year taxpayersIf your tax year does not begin on January 1, see the special rules for fiscal year taxpayers in Chapter 2 of Publication 505
Farmers and FishermenSee Chapter 2 of Publication 505
Note: If the due date for making 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 a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday.

Rev. date: 12/18/2014

When I file my taxes at the end of the year, how do I report the estimated payments I made during 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 65 or Form 1040A (.pdf), U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, line 41. Also include in that line any overpayment from your prior year tax return that you had credited to your estimated tax for the year you are reporting. You cannot file Form 1040EZ (.pdf), Income Tax Return for Single and Joint Filers With No Dependents, if you made estimated tax payments.