How to File Quarterly Taxes

File Quarterly Taxes

How to File Quarterly Taxes. If you are self-employed, then you are responsible for filing and paying estimated quarterly income taxes. This applies to Federal and state if your state has an income tax. Payments must be made by April 15, June 15, September 15 and January 15 of each tax year. Form 1040-ES must be filled out to determine your tax.

Step 1

Call the IRS to request the 1040-ES, or download and print it from the IRS's website. Enter your expected adjusted gross income for the new year on Line 1. Locate your current year's tax return and instructions to use as a guide.

Step 2

Enter the estimated amount of your deductions on Line 2. Take the standard deduction from page one of the form's instructions, or the estimated itemized deduction. Then, subtract Line 2 from Line 1. Multiply the number of your personal exemptions by $3,400, then subtract Line 4 from Line 3.

Step 3

Find your tax on the amount entered on Line 5. Use the Tax Rate Schedules table that is provided with the worksheet. Enter your tax on Line 6. If you filled out Form 6251, enter your alternative minimum tax on Line 7, then add the amounts from both lines and include any tax or credits from Forms 4972 and 8814 if applicable. Enter your totals from Lines 6 and 7 on Line 8.

Step 4

Go to Line 9 and enter any other credits. Refer to Lines 47 through 55 on Form 1040, or Lines 29 through 33 on Form 1040A and follow those instructions. Next, subtract Line 9 from Line 8 and enter the total on Line 10.

Step 5

Calculate your self-employment tax on Line 11 and other taxes that you expect to owe on Line 12. On Line 13a, add the amount from Line 10 through 12. Fill in your earned income credit, additional child tax credit on Line 13b, then figure your total current year's estimated tax by subtracting Line 13b from 13a. Take the estimated tax amount from Line 13c and multiply by 90 percent, or 66 2/3 percent if you're a farmer or a fisherman, then enter that total on Line 14a.

Step 6

Refer to your most recent quarterly tax return to enter that tax on Line 14b. On Line 14c, enter the smaller amount of Line 14a or 14b. Any income tax that is withheld or is expected to be withheld should be entered on Line 15.

Step 7

Subtract Line 15 from Line 14c on Line 16a to determine whether to make payments. If you get zero, then you don't have to make payments. Otherwise, go to 16b and subtract Line 15 from Line 13c. You need to make payments if you get a total of $1,000 or more.


If you have to make payments, enter one-fourth of the amount from Line 16a on Line 17 and on your payment voucher. Make sure to exclude any overpayment from the current year. Only one Form 1040-ES is needed to file in addition to four payment vouchers. Photocopy your form, and send the original with your voucher and payment to the address provided in the instructions. You should set aside the amount of your calculated taxes in a separate banking account. This will ensure that you will have the available funds to pay your quarterly taxes when they are due. Pay attention to any tax law changes for the upcoming year as they may apply to your current year's estimated tax return, especially if you're making any payments in September and January.


You may be faced with a penalty fee if you underpay your estimated taxes, or if you don't pay at all. Interest is charged on the tax from the time your return is due until the IRS receives your payment.