IRS Estimated Taxes Due Dates 2017

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irsclipIf you have significant self-employment or other income outside of your W-2 paycheck that is not subject to witholding (interest, rents, dividends, alimony), you may need to send the IRS some money before the usual tax-filing time. This is my annual reminder to either slide in a last-minute payment for 2016 if needed, or plan ahead for four equal installments in 2017.

Here are the due dates for paying quarterly estimated taxes in 2017; one last one for 2016 tax year and four quarterly installments for 2017 tax year. This is for federal taxes only, state and local tax due dates may be different.

IRS Estimated Tax Payment Calendar for Individuals

Tax Year / Quarter Due Date
2016 Fourth Quarter January 17, 2017* (Tuesday)
2017 First Quarter April 18, 2017 (Tuesday)
2017 Second Quarter June 15, 2017 (Thursday)
2017 Third Quarter September 15, 2017 (Friday)
2017 Fourth Quarter January 16, 2018 * (Tuesday)

* You do not have to make the payment due January 17, 2017, if you file your 2016 tax return by January 31, 2017, and pay the entire balance due with your return. You do not have to make the payment due January 16, 2018, if you file your 2016 tax return by January 31, 2018, and pay the entire balance due with your return.

Who needs to pay estimated taxes?
In general, you must pay estimated tax for 2017 if both of the following apply:

  1. You expect to owe at least $1,000 in tax for 2017, after subtracting your withholding and refundable credits.
  2. You expect your withholding and credits to be less than the smaller of
    • 90% of the tax to be shown on your 2017 tax return, or
    • 100% of the tax shown on your 2016 tax return. Your 2016 tax return must cover all 12 months.

If you forget to pay (like I’ve done before), then you should make a payment as soon as possible even though it is late. This will minimize any penalty assessed.

How do I pay? When does the payment count?

  • By check. Fill out the appropriate IRS Form 1040-ES voucher (last page of the PDF) and snail mail to the indicated address. The date of the U.S. postmark is considered the date of payment. No fees besides postage.
  • By online bank transfer. You can store your bank account information and pay via electronic funds transfer at or call 1-800-555-4477. It takes a little while to set up an online account initially, so you’ll need to plan ahead. For a one-time payment, you can also use IRS Direct Pay which does not require a sign-up but it also doesn’t store your bank account information for future payments. Both are free (no convenience fees). The date of payment will be noted online.
  • By debit or credit card. Here is page of IRS-approved payment processors. Pay by phone or online. Fees will apply, but the payment will count as paid as soon as you charge the card. You may also earn rewards on your credit card.

The following credit cards currently have the ability to offer rewards equal or greater than 1.87%, meaning you could theortically make money by paying your taxes with them. Please read my card-specific reviews for details.

How much should you pay in estimated taxes? You’ll need to come up with an expected gross income and then estimate your taxes, deductions, and credits for the year. The PDF of Form 1040-ES includes a paper worksheet to calculate how much in quarterly estimated taxes you should pay. You can also try online tax calculators like this one from H&R Block to estimate your 2016 tax liability, and divide by four quarters.

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  1. Thank you for another great article. Based on a previous article, I established an EFTPS account and found it a very convenient payment method. Now, you have me focused on possible advantages of the credit card payment method.

    I have a B of A Travel Rewards card that pays 2.625% including a 75% bonus, and a GM card that pays 5% toward purchase of GM products. The 5% on the GM card is limited to $10,000 per year, so I might need to split a tax payment on two cards.

    I noticed that there are limits on how often you can make payments using credit cards. The frequency limit table indicates that you can make two estimated tax payments per quarter. So, it looks like I could split payments on two cards. I have a question relative to the frequency limit table I would appreciate your commenting on – Could you pay a quarterly estimated tax payment by making two credit card payments in a quarter and making a third payment in the quarter using the EFTPS system (or check or direct pay)? Is there any limitation on the number of payments you can make by EFTPS, check or direct pay?

  2. Is there any ‘good’ way to pay estimated taxes when all additional income comes from investment sources? I currently just try to pay as I go, adding up all investment income and gain (or losses) received in the quarter and then guessing as to the taxes I owe based on my marginal tax rates. My investment income is significant in some years and easily surpasses my earned income, and in other years it results in a loss depending on the markets.

  3. I’m curious that if I don’t need to file a return by 31 Jan if I plan to pay my entire liability then, too, what about filing 1099’s? Can I wait to file and send them then as well or do I still need to remit them by 15 January?

  4. I don’t owe estimated taxes, but I always like to forecast my take home pay after taxes for the current year for budgeting purposes. That way, I can minimize any surprises, and make smart moves to minimize taxes for the current year.

    Are there any tools for that? I writing up my 2017 personal spending plan now, so that would be a useful tool to have.

  5. Jonathan, would this be the appropriate way to make payments on taxes due for a tradition IRA to Roth IRA rollover conversion? I’ve been owing money to gov (and a dreaded penalty!) the last two years come tax time, so I want to be sure to cover my taxable earnings (I’ve had the IRA for a couple years now, so there will be some taxes).

    • Yes, if you did a Trad to Roth rollover and will create tax due, I would try to pay them via estimated taxes in the quarter in which you did the rollover and generated that taxable event.

  6. Confused says

    If you made a payment in January 2017 does it lower your 2016 tax liability? Change your refund?

  7. Confused says

    If I did not make an estimated payment by January 17, 2016 will that increase or decrease my 2016 tax liability due on April 18, 2016?

  8. Confused says

    Apparently, I’m not allowed to “speak my mind”? I’ve submitted two questions about estimated taxes and Mr. Ping either cannot answer them or won’t let someone else answer them. After his “moderation” they disappeared.

  9. Bonnie Arnold says

    Are quarterly payments required when this is first year on the job with 1099 income

  10. Linda Buechting says

    I’ve gone to the IRS site to print out the first voucher for estimated taxes, but the voucher at the end of the PDF is Voucher 4 that’s due next January. I’m going to go on the assumption that I can send that one in with my check and change the 4 to a 1.

    • Linda Buechting says

      Well, now I feel dumb. I looked at the PDF again and realized that the three other voucher forms were after a blank page. Only the government would put a blank page between Voucher 4 and the other three. So my problem is solved, and just in time.

  11. Is it me, or has anyone else noticed that the 2nd and 3rd quarter payments are due before the end of the said quarters? Thanks

  12. Gee Whiz: I noticed it when I was just now realizing I was late with the second quarter. They turned the second quarter into two months long and the fourth quarter into four months.

    Whoever set this policy of having unequal quarters and irregular due dates has lost their freaking mind.

    • Agreed – I just paid my Q2 estimated taxes now and I’m 30 DAYS LATE! Who makes up these 2 month quarters??????

  13. In your list of due dates, you use the term “quarter”
    That is wrong and misleading
    The period for each of the 4 deadlines is not based on a calendar quarter (3 month)
    Your “2016 Fourth Quarter” actually starts Sept 1 and ends on Dec 31 (4 months – not a “Quarter”) and is due Jan 17th 2017
    Your “2017 First Quarter” is actually a “Quarter” – it starts on Dec 1 and ends on March 31 and is due Apr 18th
    Your “2017 Second Quarter” is totally confusing. According to your dates, the “Quarter” would start on Apr 1 and end on June 30. But how can that be when the due date is June 15? It is because the period covered starts on Apr 1 and ends on MAY 31 (2 months) and the is due on June 15.
    The “2017 Third Quarter” is off the rails too. It starts June 1, ends Oct 31 (3 months) and is due on Sept 15.
    The “2017 Fourth Quarter” is back to the 4 month period; Sept 1, ending Dec 31 and due Jan 16 2018.

    These odd periods have been the standard reporting periods for Self Employed to file with the IRS.
    You need to correct your calendars and start using standard terms for the reporting periods
    They are NOT “Quarters”

    • No, they aren’t exactly based on a calendar quarter, that’s why we have to list them in such a chart. But there are still 4 payments spaced out throughout a year, so I think “quarterly” payments is a reasonable description.

    • The information below is from from IRS publication 505. Please note that each payment due date corresponds to a calendar quarter.
      “When To Pay Estimated Tax
      For estimated tax purposes, the year is divided into four payment periods. Each period has a specific payment due date. If you do not pay enough tax by the due date of each of the payment periods, you may be charged a penalty even if you are due a refund when you file your income tax return.

      If a payment is mailed, the date of the U.S. postmark is considered the date of payment. The payment periods and due dates for estimated tax payments are shown next. For exceptions to the dates listed, see Saturday, Sunday, holiday rule .

      For the period: Due date:
      Jan. 1(1) – March 31 April 18
      April 1 – May 31 June 15
      June 1 – Aug. 31 Sept. 15
      Sept. 1 – Dec. 31 Jan. 16, next year(2)

      (1) If your tax year does not begin on January 1,
      see Fiscal year taxpayers .
      (2) See January payment .”

  14. This site is a farce! Only takes you to a screen full of sites for tax calculators. If you choose one, you get another screen full of sites for tax calculators.

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