Important Tax Deadlines for Independent Contractors

accountantTax life for the independent contractor is much different in comparison to an employee at a company that withholds income tax as well as Social Security and Medicare from their pay. Not only does the independent contractor have to manage their own taxes, there is also a whole new set of deadlines that they must pay attention to in order to stay compliant with the IRS.

Related: 3 Things you should always write off your taxes as a contractor in Arizona

Taxes You Need To Pay

As a self-employed independent contractor, it is your responsibility to ensure you pay both your income tax and your self-employment taxes. Self-employment tax includes your Social Security and Medicare taxes.

One of the biggest differences between working for a company that manages your tax withholdings for you and being self-employed is that you are now responsible for monitoring and withholding your own taxes. This requires a process of estimating how much you will earn in the course of the year and paying the appropriate amount of tax.

Tax Estimations

Independent contractors who expect to owe at least $1000 or more in tax at the time of filing are required by the IRS to make quarterly estimated tax payments. You are to use these payments to pay income tax and self-employment tax, including Social Security and Medicare taxes.

If you do not pay enough tax through these estimated tax payments to cover your tax liability, the IRS could charge you a small penalty. This tax penalty is either added to the amount you owe or deducted from your refund.

Due Dates for Tax Estimations

There are 4 tax payment periods each year. Each period has its own due date as outlined below:

Payment Period                                         Due Date

January 11 – March 31                             April 15

April 1 – May 31                                        June 15

June 1 – August 31                                    September 15

September 1 – December 31                   January 15 of the following year

As long as you postmark your payment by the due date of each payment period, your payment will have a consideration of being on time. When due dates fall on a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday, the payment will also have consideration of being on time as long as you make it by the next business day.

Making Payments

There are a couple of different ways to make your estimated tax payment. The IRS provides Form 1040-ES, which is a booklet that includes a worksheet to help you estimate your tax payments. The booklet also includes 4 payment vouchers that you can use when submitting payments by check or money order.

You can also make your estimated tax payments online using a credit card, debit card, or electronic funds withdrawal. This allows you to avoid sending vouchers.

Hacker Accounting has been working with independent contractors for many years now. We help them file their taxes correctly and on time to avoid penalties. If you are an independent contractor, give Hacker Accounting a call to find out how we can help. You can reach us at 602-375-5251.

Chris Hacker
Chris has been working in the bookkeeping and accounting field for over 15 years preparing business, income and payroll taxes. Chris has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State and is an Enrolled Agent with the Internal Revenue Service.