The first tax filing deadline of the new year is almost here.
OK. Technically, it's the final filing deadline of last year.
It's time to send in the fourth installment of your estimated taxes.
That amount is due on the 15th of January except when, like this year, the date falls on a weekend or federal holiday.
Since Jan. 15 is Sunday and Monday, Jan. 16, is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, all of us estimated tax filers get two extra days to make this payment.
Of course, if you plan to file your full 2011 tax return by Jan. 31 and pay the tax due by then, you can blow off this month's estimated tax filing deadline.
Yeah, I'm not doing that either.
So I'm heading to my Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, or EFTPS, account as soon as I post this reminder and setting up next week's electronic estimated tax payment.
If you used tax filing software last year and discovered you owed way more taxes than you expected, the filing program probably offered you the option to make 2011 estimated tax payments. Open that sucker back up and file your final payment now.
Or you can mail an old-fashioned check or money order and the paper voucher to the IRS. Your 1040-ES might not be processed by the same Internal Revenue Service center as your regular return, so the IRS provides the proper mailing info in the estimated tax package:
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Whatever method you use, just remember to do so by next Tuesday, Jan. 17, or you could face some penalty and interest charges when you finally file your 2011 Form 1040.
And just in case you want to get a head start on your 2012 estimated tax payments, here's the 2012 Form 1040-ES package.
You also might find these items of interest: