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How and when should I file quarterly taxes for my estimated business income?

You’re required to pay taxes as you earn income. Self-employed taxpayers are usually required to pay estimated tax quarterly. Estimated tax payments are simply an up-front estimate of the amount of taxes you owe for the year. They’re not an additional tax.

If you fail to make quarterly estimated tax payments, you’ll be charged interest and penalties for the missed payments.

Pay estimated tax if these apply:

  • You expect to owe at least $1,000 in tax for the tax year, after subtracting withholding and credits.
  • You expect your withholding and credits to be less than the smaller of:
    • 90% of the tax to be shown on the current-year return
    • 100% of the tax shown on the prior-year return, if it covers all 12 months

Your estimated taxes for the year are calculated by estimating these:

  • Adjusted gross income (AGI)
  • Taxable income
  • Taxes
  • Deductions
  • Credits

Take into account any of your personal adjustments from the previous year and any changes in the law. You can use the worksheet in Publication 505 to calculate your estimated taxes for the year.

There are five ways to pay estimated tax:

  • Credit an overpayment on your 2012 return to your 2013 estimated tax.
  • Send in your payment (check or money order) with a payment voucher from Form 1040-ES.
  • Pay e-filing using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS).
  • Pay by electronic funds withdrawal (EFW) if you’re filing Form 1040 or Form 1040A electronically.
  • Pay by credit or debit card using a pay-by-phone system or the Internet.

The estimated payments are due April 15, June 15, and Sept. 15 during the tax year, and Jan. 15 of the following year.

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