Form 1040 ES—Estimated Tax for Individuals is for taxpayers who earn income that isn’t subject to withholding. If you’re self-employed, you are going to file Form 1040 ES and estimate the taxes you owe and pay the IRS.
This is due to the federal law requiring taxpayers to pay their federal income taxes gradually. Since certain incomes aren’t subject to withholding, the taxpayer must estimate taxes. If your income is any of the following below, you are required to file Form 1040 ES and estimate the taxes owed.
- Self-employment income
- Dividends and other distributions
You must file Form 1040 ES for pretty much any income that isn’t subject to withholding.
However, this doesn’t apply to everyone as there are exceptions to this. If you expect to owe less than $1,000 in taxes for the tax season you’re filing after subtracting the taxes withheld and refundable credits, you aren’t required to estimate taxes. If you owe more than $1,000 in taxes but it’s less than 10% of the amount owed in taxes, no need for estimating taxes owed.
In addition to these, you don’t need to estimate taxes if your income doesn’t exceed the minimum income to file a tax return. See the minimum income to file a federal income tax return for 2020 and 2021.
If you are required to estimate taxes, use the fillable Form 1040 ES below.
Online Fillable Form 1040-ES 2020
Note: After you’re done filing, you can print out certain pages by selecting the ones you want to print. Click on the corresponding boxes to enter amounts to estimate taxes.
Making Estimated Tax Payments
Federal estimated tax payments can be made online or at the time of filing Form 1040 ES. We suggest paying it online as it will be easier to keep it for your records.
When paying federal estimated taxes online, you can opt to pay with your credit card or bank account directly to the IRS. If you’re going to make larger payments, it’s best to pay with your bank account as there will be no processing fee.
As for when to make your estimated tax payments, you can pay it by April 15, June 15, September 15, and January 15 for the first to the fourth quarter in order, respectively. There is a small detail on the estimated tax payment deadlines though. If you’re going to file your federal income tax return by February 1st of the following year, you don’t need to make your last payment by January 15.
Learn more about paying federal estimated taxes from here.