2016 Federal Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments

1. Am I required to make 2015 federal quarterly estimated tax payments?

Generally, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires you to make quarterly estimated tax payments for calendar year 2016 if both of the following apply:

  • you expect to owe at least $1,000 in federal tax for 2016, after subtracting federal tax withholding and refundable credits, and

  • you expect federal withholding and refundable credits to be less than the smaller of:

  • 90% of the tax to be shown on your 2016 federal tax return, or

  • 100% of the tax shown on your 2015 federal tax return (only applies if your 2015 tax return covered 12 months - otherwise refer to 90% rule above only).

2. How do I calculate the amount of my federal quarterly estimated tax payments?

To calculate your federal quarterly estimated tax payments, you must estimate your adjusted gross income, taxable income, taxes, deductions, and credits for the calendar year 2016. Form 1040-ES includes an Estimated Tax Worksheet to help you calculate your federal estimated tax payments. For examples of completed estimated tax worksheets, please refer to the Examples section of this site.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the filing dates for federal quarterly estimated tax payments?

Payment Period Due Date

January 1 - March 31, 2016April 18, 2016

April 1 - May 31, 2016June 15, 2016

June 1 - August 31, 2016September 15, 2016

September 1 - December 31, 2016January 17, 2017

*You do not have to make the payment due on January 17, 2017, if you file your 2016 tax return by January 31, 2017 and pay the entire balance due with your return.

2. How do I make federal quarterly estimated payments?

The IRS provides various methods for making 2016 quarterly estimated tax payments:

  • You may credit an over payment on your 2015 tax return to your 2016 estimated tax;

  • You may mail your payment with payment voucher, Form 1040-ES;

  • You may pay by phone or online (refer to Form 1040-ES instructions, pg 3);

  • You may pay via electronic funds withdrawal with your 2015 e-filed return.

3. What if I do not pay enough federal income tax in a timely manner for the calendar year 2016?

Generally, if you do not pay enough tax in a timely manner either through withholding or making estimated tax payments, you may be required to pay a penalty.

Please refer to IRS Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, for a detailed discussion of the underpayment penalty, including exceptions to this penalty.

4. How do I obtain additional information regarding federal quarterly estimated tax payments?

Please refer to IRS Form 1040-ES Instructions and IRS Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, for additional information regarding federal quarterly estimated tax payments or consult your personal tax advisor.

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