# Quarterly Tax Calculator

Calculate estimated taxes with

### Quarterly Tax Calculator Results

You don't need to make an estimated tax paymentđč

### Jan 15th

Next payment due date

### \$XXX

Federal payment due

### \$XXX

State payment due
by
Sarah York, EA

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Being self-employed comes with a number of challenges â including estimated taxes. Luckily, our quarterly tax calculator takes the guesswork out of a complicated task.Â

## How does this quarterly tax calculator work?Â

Starting with a few simple inputs, this calculator provides a ballpark estimate for your quarterly tax bill. Letâs look over the key inputs to better understand exactly what goes into the results.Â

## What should you enter into the calculator?

Here are the input fields you'll fill in:

### Where you live

This helps the calculator figure out which state tax rates it needs to determine your state tax bill. Be sure to use the state that youâll be paying taxes to.

For example, if you worked in California all year, but are in the process of moving to Arizona, your state input would be âCalifornia.âÂ

Thatâs because your income up until now was sourced in California.Â

### Net self-employment income (annual)

âSelf-employmentâ refers to any type of 1099 work. This could mean working as a:

• Freelancer
• Independent contractor
• Gig worker

If you receive a Form 1099 instead of a W-2 â or don't get any form at all â you count as a 1099 worker.

Note that this box says ânetâ income. That means your income after you subtract your business write-offs.

For example, if you drive for Uber, it would be all of your earnings minus everything you spent on rideshare throughout the year. That might include part of:

### W-2 incomeÂ (optional)

This box is optional, but if you had W-2 earnings, you can put them in here.

Unlike your 1099 income, be sure to input your gross wages. Meaning, your pay before taxes and other payroll deductions are taken out.

Letâs say you have a job that pays \$20 per hour, but after taxes and retirement contributions, your âtake-home payâ is only \$14 per hour. For this calculation to work, you need to enter the \$20 per hour rate. (Iâll explain why in a minute!)Â

### Tax filing status

If youâve filed taxes before, youâre probably familiar with these statuses. The options are:Â

• âSingle
• Married filing jointly

If you're married and filing separately, use "single." If you got divorced during the year you're filing for, "single"Â is also the most common option.

Your filing status affects your tax brackets and standard deduction amount. Choosing the right one is crucial to getting an accurate tax estimate.

## What the calculator does automatically

Once you put in your info, the calculator will estimate your quarterly tax bill with a little bit of automatic tax magic. Hereâs what itâs doing in the background:

### â Calculating your standard deductionâ

The standard deduction shields a portion of your earnings from income tax. Pro tip: You can take this tax break and still write off your business expenses on top.

The amount of your standard deduction depends on your filing status. For your 2023 taxes, those figures are:Â

• âSingle:Â \$13,850
• Married filing jointly:Â \$27,700

The standard deduction is supposed to represent the amount of money it takes to maintain a basic standard of living.

### â Accounting for your standard deduction

The qualified business income deduction gives anyone with self-employment income a bonus write-off.Â It lets you deduct up to 20% of your income after subtracting business write-offs.

Hereâs how it works: if you have \$20,000 in 1099 income and \$10,000 in business expenses, your net income is \$10,000. And your QBI deduction would be \$2,000 (\$10,000 x 0.20).Â

Unlike the standard deduction, there are limitations for the QBI deduction. (Our calculator accounts for these, but itâs not able to handle all scenarios.)

Generally speaking, most 1099 workers will receive 20% if they have leftover business income after subtracting their write-offs.

### â Estimating withholding from any W-2 income

If the calculator results show a negative number â or an amount less than you were expecting â you most likely put in W-2 income as well.

Our calculator uses the IRS standard withholding rates to estimate an employer would automatically take out of your paycheck for taxes. These rates are the default, unless you specifically tell your payroll provider to use a different amount.

The withholding rates are designed to create some margin. They take a little more than youâve forecasted to owe and return the extra as a refund when you file. (From the IRSâs point of view, taxation is easier to enforce when youâre returning money rather than asking for it.)

To help you avoid drastically overpaying in taxes, we include your estimated withholding in the final result. Thatâs why itâs important to input your gross W-2 wages when using the calculator.Â

## What the calculator doesnât do: Include tax credits

Most tax credits are based on your particular circumstances. For example, maybe you:

• Went to school
• Saved for retirement

We would have to ask a lot more questions to accurately forecast your tax credits. To make this calculator quick and easy to use, weâve chosen not to include them in our results.

### How to check which tax credits you qualify for

â
If youâre not sure whether these credits apply to you, you can check by looking at your tax return from last year. The second page of your â will list the credits you received for the year:

If you were eligible for a tax credit last year, youâll often be eligible again this year (although thatâs not always the case).

### What happens if youâre eligible for tax credits

Being eligible for tax credits could mean that, if you make the estimated payments recommended by the calculator, youâll end up overpaying in taxes.Â

If that happens, youâll get the extra money back in a refund.

## Why should you make quarterly tax payments?

There are a few reasons why making quarterly tax payments is a good idea. Of course, not everyone is required to. You can skip the process altogether if you:

• Expect to owe less than \$1,000Â
• Didnât owe any tax last year

For everyone else, letâs look at why this process is a good idea:Â

### Penalty avoidance

This is the main reason to stay on top of your tax payments. If you donât pay in throughout the year, youâll likely get hit with an underpayment penalty. That's 0.05% of your tax due for every month it stays unpaid.

While that might not seem like much, it can add up quickly. The best way to save your hard-earned dollars is to pay your taxes once a quarter when theyâre due.Â

If you're concerned about making those payments during your slow season, you even have the option of using the annualized income installment method. This allows you to make smaller quarterly payments when you're earning less, making up for it when business is booming.

### Peace of mind

While paying taxes is never fun, it comes with a greater sense of control heading into tax season. You donât have to be concerned about a surprise bill because youâve been managing your payments throughout the year.

For 1099 workers who already have a lot of stress on their plates, this approach can make a huge difference.Â

### Improved financial focusÂ

An important step to doing quarterly taxes is finding your ânet income.â This forces you to review your business's financial health beyond just your bank balance.

To pay quarterly, youâll have to know:Â

• How much money youâve earned so far
• How much money you expect to earn for the whole year
• Your work expenses so far
• A good forecast for what your work expenses will be for the current year

Knowing all this forces you to engage with the financial side of your business. Having a quarterly reason to study your income and expenses sharpens your financial focus and improves your managerial skills.

## When should you make quarterly tax payments?

The IRS sets deadlines for estimated tax payments on a quarterly basis. The dates donât align with regular calendar quarters, though. The IRS keeps its calendar of tax deadlines updated.

## 7 ways to make your quarterly tax payments

Now that you know how much to pay and why, letâs look at how to make the rubber meet the road. There are six ways to make estimated tax payments on your 1099 income:Â

### Option #1: Direct Pay

Best if: You want to avoid making an account

If you want to make your federal payments yourself, IRS Direct Pay is a lightweight option. It doesnât require you to set up an account or register in any way. You can simply:

2. Make a payment

This is easiest to do with direct deposit, but the IRS can also work with third-party merchants to handle credit card payments.Â

### Option #2: An EFTPS account

Best if: You might want to see your tax transcripts someday

Youâll need to set up an account to use this payment method, but I recommend all taxpayers do that at some point anyway. Itâs the only way to easily view your tax records and transcripts â useful if you ever fall behind on your taxes and need to file them a few years late. It also lets you conveniently make tax payments.Â

To enroll, visit the IRSâs Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). Once registered, youâll be able to view all your tax return filings and can seamlessly make estimated payments

### Option #3: Mobile app

Best if: You want a free app (and don't mind glitches)

Believe it or not, the IRS recently released a mobile app for taxpayers called IRS2Go, which is available for both Android and iPhone.

This is a good direction for the IRS, but be prepared for some glitching and long wait times with customer support. The app is far from a walk in the park, but hopefully the functionality will improve over time.Â

### Option #4: Phone payments

Best if: You don't want to deal with screens at all

You can also pay your estimated quarterly taxes by making a phone call.

If youâve created an EFTPS account, you can call the IRS directly at:

• 1-800-555-4477 (English)
• 1-800-244-4829 (EspaĂ±ol)
• 1-800-733-4829 (Deaf or hard of hearing)Â

Don't have an EFTPS? You can still pay over the phone. But instead of calling the IRS directly, youâll actually call one of the third-party providers listed below.

They'll allow you to pay using credit, debit, or â in a few cases â an app. Again, you'll have to pay a convenience fee.

Platform Phone Number Website Credit Fee Debit Fee
Pay1040 888-PAY-1040 www.PAY1040.com 1.87% \$2.50
payUSAtax 844-PAY-TAX8 www.payUSAtax.com 1.82% \$2.14
ACI Payments 888-UPAY-TAX fed.acipayonline.com \$2.50 \$2.50

#### Which third-party provider is best?

Each option comes with pros and cons:

• payUSAtax has the lowest fees
• Pay1040 (formerly known as Link2Gov) offers the most payment methods including PayPal
• ACI Payments is the only option to accept Venmo

### Option #5: Physical check

Best if: You want to do this the old-fashioned way

Many people still prefer physical checks, and those are accepted as well. However, due to security concerns around paper mail, the IRS strongly encourages people to make electronic payments whenever possible.

If you plan to use a check, be sure to follow the steps below:Â

• Fill out your 1040-ES (pages 9-11)Â
• Make your check payable to the âUnited States Treasuryâ
• Write your Social Security number or ITIN on the check
• Write â2024 1040-ESâ on your check (or whatever tax year the check is for)Â
• Mail both the check and the 1040-ES together without stapling themÂ

Pro tip: Make sure your payment amount is written correctly on the check. The IRS doesnât want you to use dashes or lines:

• â Correct format: \$1,000.00Â
• â Incorrect format: \$1,000âÂ
• â Incorrect format: \$1,000 0/100Â

Where you mail the check depends on your location. Refer to page 5 of the IRS instructions to find the correct address.

### Option #6: Increasing your W-2 withholding

Best if: You're a side hustler who doesn't mind doing extra paperwork

Last but not least, if you work a W-2 job in addition to your freelance work, ask your employer to increase your withholding by giving them an updated Form W-4. This saves you from having to submit payments yourself.

For example, if the results from this calculator tell you to pay \$1,200 quarterly, have your employer increase your withholding by \$200 on your biweekly payroll. This amounts to \$400 a month, or \$1,200 a quarter â all without you having to do anything.Â

And with that, youâre off to the races! Be sure to visit Keeperâs Free Resources page for more tips and free tools, or download our app so that weâre never further than a click away.

## FAQ

### Are IRS quarterly payments mandatory?

Yes, paying quarterly taxes is mandatory if you expect to owe \$1,000 or more in taxes at the end of the year. If you donât, you risk being charged penalties.

### How do I reduce the amount of quarterly tax I owe?

If youâre a self-employed worker who owes quarterly taxes, the easiest way to lower the total amount you owe is by deducting eligible business expenses. Keeper can help with that â plus, once your deductions are squared away, you can file with Keeper, too.

### When are quarterly taxes due?

There are four due dates throughout the year for quarterly payments. They are:

• April 15
• June 15
• September 15
• January 15 of the following year

If one of these dates falls on a weekend or federal holiday, the quarterly payment is due on the next business day.

## Tax terms glossary

### 1099

A 1099 form is a type of form used to report payments that arenât from a W-2 employer. There are many different types of 1099 form, including, but but limited to:

### 1099-K

A 1099-K form is used to report payments received through third-party network transactions, such as those made by credit card or via online payment services like PayPal and Venmo.Â

For the 2024 tax year, individuals who received \$5,000 or more on one of these platforms will receive a 1099-K. In future years, the IRS plans to implement a threshold of \$600 across any number of transactions â the \$5,000 figure is intended as a âphase-in.â

### 1099-NEC

A 1099-NEC form is a type of 1099 form that reports ânonemployee compensationâ to the IRS. If youâre an independent contractor for a client during the year and make over \$600 across any number of payments, you should receive a 1099-NEC from that client.

### 1099-B

A 1099-B form reports proceeds from broker and barter exchange transactions to the IRS. This includes the sale of stocks, bonds, and other securities. You might be familiar with this form if you trade on Robinhood, for example.

### Audit

In the tax world, an audit is an IRS review of someoneâs financial records to make sure their tax return is accurate. An audit can be random or it can be triggered by a red flag on the return you file. Donât worry too much, though: Less than 1% of all U.S. tax returns get audited by the IRS.Â

### FICA

FICA stands for the Federal Insurance Contributions Act, and is a tax all working Americans pay. Itâs actually comprised of two taxes â Social Security and Medicare â and all earned income is subject to it.Â

W-2 employees have FICA automatically deducted from their paycheck, but self-employed workers must pay it themselves. And while W-2 employers and their employees split the tax (7.65% and 7.65%), self-employed people are on the hook for the whole 15.3%.

### Income tax

Income tax is a tax imposed on individuals and businesses based on their earnings or income. It is typically progressive, meaning the rate increases as the amount of taxable income increases.

### Independent contractor

An independent contractor is a self-employed worker who does gigs for clients, but is not their employee. Independent contractors report their income using Form Schedule C.

### IRS

The IRS is the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. government agency that collects federal taxes, conducts audits, and enforces tax law.

### Quarterly taxes

Quarterly taxes are estimated tax payments that many self-employed individuals must make at regular intervals throughout the year. Quarterly tax payments are due on:

• April 15
• June 15
• September 15
• January 15 of the next year

### Schedule C

Schedule C is a form used to report self-employment income on a personal tax return.

### Schedule SE

Schedule SE is a form used to calculate the tax due on self-employment income.

### Self-employment tax

Self-employment tax covers your Medicare and Social Security tax obligations as a self-employed worker.

### Side hustle

A side hustle is 1099 work done in addition to a W-2 job. For example, if you work a 9-5 job as a marketing coordinator but run an Etsy shop in your spare time, that Etsy shop is a side hustle. (Sorry, youâll still have to pay taxes on both sources of income.)

### Sole proprietor

A sole proprietor is an individual who runs a business solo, without any formal legal structure. This person is also personally responsible for all business debts and liabilities.

### Tax deduction

A tax deduction (also called a tax write-off) is an expense you can subtract from your taxable income. A lower taxable income means a smaller tax bill! Examples of tax deductions include:

• Student loan interest
• Charitable donations

### Tax credit

Like a tax deduction, a tax credit is a tax incentive. However, a tax credit directly lowers the amount of tax you owe instead of lowering your taxable income.

### Tax rate

A tax rate is the percentage at which an individual or businessâs income is taxed. Depending on the system, it can be progressive, regressive, or proportional:

• Progressive tax rate: Tax rate increases with income
• Regressive tax rate: Everyone pays the same dollar amount, regardless of income
• Proportional tax rate: Everyone is assessed the same tax rate, regardless of income

### Tax write-off

A tax write-off is another name for a tax deduction.

### W-2

The W-2 form is issued by employers to employees and details wages earned and taxes withheld during the year. Employees use this form to file their annual tax returns.

### W-4

The W-4 is a form filled out by an employee at the beginning of a job to let the employer know how much tax should be withheld from each paycheck.

Sarah York, EA

Sarah is an Enrolled Agent with the IRS and a former staff writer at Keeper. In 2022, she was named one of CPA Practice Advisorâs 20 Under 40 Top Influencers in the field of accounting. Her work has been featured in Business Insider, Money Under 30, Best Life, GOBankingRates, and Shopify. Sarah has spent nearly a decade in public accounting and has extensive experience offering strategic tax planning at the state and federal level. Her clients have come from a wide range of industries, including oil and gas, manufacturing, real estate, wholesale and retail, finance, and ecommerce, and she has handled tax returns for C corps, S corps, partnerships, nonprofits, and sole proprietorships. In her spare time, she is a devoted cat mom and enjoys hiking, painting, and overwatering her houseplants.