As you were rushing to file your 2018 taxes on time – and wrestling with the new tax rules – you may have forgotten an important detail. First quarterly estimated tax payments for 2019 were due the same day as your 2018 tax return. It’s a Double Whammy for sure, but quarterly estimated tax payments are how IRS and state tax agencies makes sure we all pay our taxes as our income comes in.
Estimated tax payments are due April 15, June 15, September 15, and January 15, unless, the 15th falls on a weekend or a holiday. Technology makes the process a little less painful, with various online payment options. Of course, the IRS and state tax agencies still take checks.
Three things to know about 2019 estimated taxes:
Who Needs to Pay Estimated Taxes?
If all your income comes from wages, the taxes that your employer withholds and remits for you probably covers your income tax liability. More on tax withholdings later. If you are self-employed, or receive investment or rental income you might need to make estimated income tax payments. The IRS website explains what to include and how to estimate your tax at this link
How Much Do You Need to Pay?
Estimated tax payments are based on your estimated income and resulting tax liability. You must pay estimated tax for 2019 if you expect to owe at least $1,000 in tax after subtracting withholding and refundable credits. Withholdings or estimated payments must equal or exceed the smaller of 90% of your 2019 tax liability, or 100% of your 2018 tax liability. Calculate your tax liability and avoid interest on the unpaid tax balance at this link: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040es.pdf.
What if You Don’t Pay Enough?
Interest is calculated on the unpaid balance due. That interest is accrued daily from the time the tax liability was created, aka when your income was earned or received, and when it is paid. Daily interest accruals can really add to your tax bill, so staying on top of any necessary tax payments is essential to managing expenses. Clearly, the IRS is serious about getting paid on time. Figure your 2019 federal income tax bill by using the IRS Withholding Calculator at https://www.irs.gov/individuals/irs-withholding-calculator.
If you paid a lot when you filed your 2018 income tax return or have income with no tax withholdings, you might need to pay 2019 estimated taxes. Check out the answers above and the IRS website links to see if you owe and how much. Don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself? The IRS can also help you find a qualified tax professional to help you out, at this link https://www.irs.gov/tax-professionals/choosing-a-tax-professional.