I had a great time today talking with all the wonderful folks at Freelance Austin about taxes. The timing was perfect, too.
Not only is January the start of the annual filing season for the prior year's tax returns, it's also time to start thinking about moves to make this year to keep your coming tax bill low.
Ways to pay: Several in the group, me included, had paid or scheduled payment of our last 2014 estimated tax amount via the Federal Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, or EFTPS.
If you don't already have an EFTPS account, but want to pay electronically, look into Direct Pay as a way to get your estimated payment to Uncle Sam sans postage stamp.
You also can use one of the IRS-authorized credit card payment processors to pay your estimated taxes. They are:
Official Payments Corporation
Remember, however, that each charges a fee -- it varies by provider, card type, and payment amount -- to get your plastic payment to the U.S. Treasury.
Or you can go the old-fashioned route and print out Form 1040-ES from the Internal Revenue Service website and snail mail it and your check.
Like your regular tax return, the IRS considers estimated tax payments as timely filed and paid as long as the envelope is postmarked with the due date.
Four extra tax due dates each year: Again, that looming deadline is tomorrow, Jan. 15, for income you made in the final four months of last year.
The table below shows all the year's due dates for 1040-ES payments.
|Payment #||Due Date||For income received|
|1||April 15||Jan. 1 through March 31|
|2||June 15||April 1 through May 31|
|3||Sept. 15||June 1 through Aug. 31|
(of the next year)
|Sept. 1 through Dec. 31|
There is one way to avoid this final payment. You don't have to make the Jan. 15 payment if you file your tax return by Jan. 31 or the next business day if the last day of January falls on a weekend.
That's the case this year, so you get a couple more days, until Feb. 2, to file your full return and not have to worry about paying last year's final 1040-ES on Jan. 15.
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