When are my estimated tax payments due in 2021?

Editor’s note: If you’re a small business owner, mark your calendar after you find out when estimated tax payments are due in 2021!

Did you know federal income tax is a pay-as-you-go system in some cases? In fact, if you are a small business owner, you may need to file quarterly estimated tax payments in order to avoid an IRS penalty. Read on to learn about specific due dates for estimated tax payments this year.

When are estimated tax payments due?

Even if you’ve paid them in the past, you may be wondering, “when are my estimated tax payments due?”

If you meet the requirements for paying estimated tax every quarter, payments for tax year 2021 are due every quarter on these dates. As you can see, the dates will roll into the next calendar year.

PAYMENT PERIODDUE DATE
September 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020January 15, 2021
January 1, 2021 to March 31, 2021April 15, 2021
April 1, 2021 to May 31, 2021June 15, 2021
June 1, 2021 to August 31, 2021September 15, 2021
September 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021January 18, 2022

NOTE: The due dates are generally April 15, June 15, September 15, and January 15 but if they fall on a weekend or holiday, the deadline is moved to the next workday.

The dates above are when your 1040-ES should be postmarked. The postmark date lets the IRS know if the estimated tax payment is paid on time.

“Can I make estimated tax payments all at once?”

Many people wonder, “can I make estimated tax payments all at once?” or pay a quarter up front?

Because people might think it’s a nuisance to file taxes quarterly, this is a common question. The answer is no. Because the U.S. tax system is pay as you go, you need to pay and file on a quarterly basis or you’ll be charged a penalty.

Who pays estimated tax?

Individuals, sole proprietors, partners, and S corporation shareholders who expect to owe tax of $1,000 or more when you file your return, generally have to make estimated tax payments.

estimated tax payments

Corporations who expect to owe $500 (or more) in tax when their corporate return is filed generally have to make estimated tax payments.

If you have business income from self-employment, you are required to file an annual return and pay estimated tax quarterly. Not sure if this applies to you?  Find more information about who should pay quarterly tax payments.

Working for yourself? Find out what you need to know about taxes for self-employed individuals.

How do you pay quarterly taxes?

You have a few options for paying your quarterly taxes. They are as follows:

  1. Apply your refund from this year to your estimated taxes for the next year (at the time you submit your annual tax return).
  2. Use Form 1040-ES to figure your estimated tax. Then mail a check or money order with Form 1040-ES each quarter.
  3. Visit IRS.gov to use the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System. Here you can make payments weekly, quarterly, or monthly, and you can set up payments up to a year in advance.
  4. Enlist the help of a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro. You can add this service to your tax prep for $99 and a tax pro will review your unique situation and suggest changes to your quarterly amount.

What happens if you don’t pay your 2021 estimated taxes?

If you don’t pay any of your 2021 estimated taxes, you may incur a penalty for the underpayment. The penalty is a complicated formula; it’s imposed on the amount of underpayment for the number of days it’s unpaid, starting with the first quarter payment.

Questions about when to pay estimated tax?

Do you have additional questions about when to pay estimated tax or other small business tax due dates? Rely on our team of Block Advisors to get your small business taxes right and keep your business on track.

“Donna made sure we understood everything, every step of the way. She always makes sure we understand the best course of action, as well as all changes each year. She helped to determine the best option for paying estimated tax payments throughout the year.”

– Amanda Byrne, Stokes Counseling Services, LLC Independent Contractor | April 2021

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