The Internal Revenue Service today reminded people that Tax Day, April 18, is also the deadline for first quarter estimated tax payments for tax year 2023.
These payments are normally made by self-employed individuals, retirees, investors, businesses, corporations and others that do not have taxes withheld or employees that don’t have enough taxes withheld by their employers throughout the year.
Income taxes are a pay-as-you-go process. This means, by law, taxes must be paid as income is earned or received during the year. Most people pay their taxes through withholding from paychecks, pension payments, Social Security benefits or certain other government payments including unemployment compensation.
Most often, those who are self-employed or in the gig economy need to make estimated tax payments. Similarly, investors, retirees and others often need to make these payments because a substantial portion of their income is not subject to withholding.
Other income generally not subject to withholding includes interest, dividends, capital gains, alimony and rental income. Paying quarterly estimated taxes will usually lessen and may even eliminate any penalties.
Exceptions to the penalty and special rules apply to some groups of taxpayers, such as farmers and fishers, those who recently became disabled, recent retirees, those who receive income unevenly during the year and casualty and disaster victims.
Due to recent disasters, eligible taxpayers in California, Alabama and Georgia, for example, have until Oct. 16, 2023, to make 2023 estimated tax payments, normally due on April 18, June 15 and Sept. 15. People in other states may have extended deadlines as well; a full list is available on a special IRS.gov page.
How to pay estimated taxes
Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals, includes instructions to help taxpayers figure their estimated taxes. They can also visit IRS.gov/payments to pay electronically.
The best way to make a payment is through IRS online account. There taxpayers can see their payment history, any pending payments and other useful tax information. Taxpayers can make an estimated tax payment by using IRS Direct Pay; Debit Card, Credit Card or Digital Wallet; or the Treasury Department’s Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS).
For information on other payment options, visit IRS.gov/payments. If paying by check, taxpayers should be sure to make the check payable to the “United States Treasury.”
Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, has additional details, including worksheets and examples, that can be especially helpful to those who have dividend or capital gain income, owe alternative minimum tax or self-employment tax, or have other special situations.
Tax Withholding Estimator
The IRS urges people to use its Tax Withholding Estimator tool to help ensure the right amount of tax is withheld from their paychecks.
Checking taxes withheld periodically helps to protect against having too little tax withheld and possibly facing an unexpected tax bill or penalty at tax time. It also allows people to check taxes withheld up front, resulting in bigger paychecks throughout the year and likely a smaller refund at tax time.
IRS.gov assistance 24/7
Tax help is available 24/7 on IRS.gov. The IRS website offers a variety of online tools to help taxpayers answer common tax questions. For example, taxpayers can search the Interactive Tax Assistant, Tax Topics and Frequently Asked Questions to get answers to common questions.
The IRS is continuing to expand ways to communicate to taxpayers who prefer to get information in other languages. The IRS has posted translated tax resources in 20 other languages on IRS.gov. For more information, see We Speak Your Language.