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When are 2024 Q1 estimated taxes due for self-employed individuals?

Most small business owners need to make estimated payments that cover both income taxes and self-employment taxes. These estimated taxes are due quarterly, with each payment period having its own due date. 

In general, you need to make estimated payments if your tax liability for the year is at least $1,000 after subtracting withholding and refundable credits, and if your withholding and refundable credits are less than the taxes you paid in the previous year or 90% of the taxes you owe for the current year.

For the first quarter of 2024, January 1 through March 31, the due date for most self-employed taxpayers is April 15th, the same as the year-end tax payment deadline for 2023. However, businesses with fiscal years that do not begin on January 1 are subject to special rules.

How do I calculate my estimated quarterly taxes?

If you work with a tax professional or use accounting software, you can determine your quarterly tax filing obligation based on your actual quarterly earnings. You can also calculate your estimated total taxable income, accounting for deductions and credits, and multiply your adjusted gross income (AGI) by the tax rate based on your income bracket.

If you earn more than $400 in income, you must also pay both the employer and employee share of Social Security and Medicare taxes. Take your estimated total income times 92.35% to get the amount of taxable income for self-employment taxes, and then multiply that result by 15.3%. IRS Form 1040-ES can help you calculate this amount.

Add your estimated income tax obligation and your estimated self-employment tax obligation together and divide by four (for four quarterly payments).

How do I pay my quarterly taxes?

There are several ways you can make your federal quarterly estimated tax payments:

If your state imposes income taxes, you may also have to make quarterly estimated tax filings to your state tax authority.

What happens if I haven't been paying my quarterly taxes?

In most cases, if you do not make estimated tax payments, but your withholding from other sources makes up at least 90% of your total tax obligation and the amount withheld is at least as much as you paid in federal taxes last year, you will not incur penalties or have to pay interest.

However, if you do not meet that criteria, the IRS could impose penalties and charge interest from the date your estimated taxes became overdue. The IRS calculates penalties separately for each required quarterly installment.

How do I stay on top of my estimated taxes?

Calendaring your estimated tax payments is an important event that you may want to review annually. It can help to use an electronic calendar that allows you to set up recurring events as well as reminders. It can be a good idea to set those reminders a week or more in advance of the due dates to make sure you can meet the quarterly deadlines.

Typically, each payment is due on the 15th of the month in: April, June, September, and January. If one of these dates falls on a weekend or holiday, it is automatically extended to the next day following the holiday. The IRS also can provide extensions of time to pay when there is a natural disaster or severe storm in your region.

Do you have questions about whether you are required to pay estimated taxes, or need some guidance related to your specific circumstances? Reach out to a Rocket Lawyer network attorney for fast and affordable legal and tax advice. Need help filing your tax return? Get matched with a tax pro via Rocket Tax™ to save time and money filling your tax returns.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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