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For estimated tax payment purposes, a year is divided into four payment periods. Each period has a specific payment due date.
If you don't pay enough tax by the due date of each of the payment periods, you may be charged a penalty for underpayment of tax until the underpayment is made up.
This means that you may be charged a penalty for a particular quarter even if you're due a refund when you file your income tax return for the entire year! Obviously, if you are required to make estimated tax payments, it's important to know the due dates.
If you operate your business on a calendar tax year, your estimated tax payment due dates are:
|For the Period||Due Date|
|January 1-March 31||April 15|
|April 1-May 31||June 15|
|June 1-August 31||September 15|
|September 1-December 31||January 15 (of the following year)|
If the due date for making an estimated tax payment falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the payment must be made on the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.
A corporation has the same estimated tax payment due dates for the first three periods. However, its last payment is due on December 15 (rather than January 15 of the following year).
If at least two-thirds of your annual income comes from farming or fishing, you have only one payment due date for your estimated taxes January 15. The first three payment periods don't apply.
There is a special rule in the tax law that allows you to file your annual return (Form 1040, etc.) early in lieu of filing your fourth quarter estimated taxes.