The next estimated tax deadline is coming up in short order on September 15. If you’re one of the many freelancers who tend to put estimated tax payments on autopilot, or never even get them off the ground, it’s time to take the wheel again and make sure that you remain in control of your tax situation. Looking at your estimated tax payments now is important for several key reasons:
Don’t fly blind when it comes to your estimated taxes
While it’s certainly preferable to be ready to cut checks for federal and state estimated taxes prior to the deadline rolling around, it’s wise to take a look at the factors influencing your estimated tax payments periodically to make sure you don’t need to make adjustments for changes including:
Don’t delay action if you have delinquent estimated tax payments
If you have come up short in the past when it comes to paying your estimated taxes, now is the time to take steps to rectify the situation. The sooner you do, the less tax turbulence you’ll experience later. Even if you don’t have the money to pay your estimated taxes by September 15, it is better to look at implementing one of the following options than it is to keep piling up tax bills, which will leave you subject to non-payment fines and penalties from the IRS.
With a few weeks to go until the next estimated tax deadline, now’s the time to take your estimated tax payments off autopilot—or get them airborne if they aren’t already. Doing so will allow you to head off tax penalties, eliminate overpayments and reduce the risk of tax surprises before year-end. This will put you back in control well before tax time comes around again.
Jonathan Medows is a certified public accountant licensed in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. He is also a recognized expert in taxation for freelancers and the self-employed—often tapped for his expert knowledge and perspective on self-employment taxation by national and regional publications such as The New York Post, BusinessWeek, Forbes taxation blog, WebCPA, CPA Practice Advisor, and others. You can read some of Jonathan’s press coverage here.
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