How to Prepay Taxes

Prepaying taxes involves estimating your tax liability for the next year.

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Although prepaying income taxes is generally for the self-employed, taxpayers who do not have enough income tax withheld or credits to reduce their tax bill to under $1,000 can also prepay taxes to lessen the financial burden at the end of the year. In some circumstances, you can request your employer to withhold additional taxes, but if you have income from multiple sources, regulating your withholdings can be a stressful battle. To prepay your income taxes, you must complete an estimated tax worksheet to determine the amount of your payments and prepay your taxes by each quarterly deadline.

Step 1

Obtain Form 1040ES from the IRS website. If you plan to itemize your deductions, you should also obtain a copy of Schedule A.

Step 2

Complete the Estimated Tax Worksheet located within Form 1040ES to calculate your estimated taxes. You must include an estimate of your income, exemptions, any taxes withheld and credits. Some items might require you to complete a different form or schedule to calculate your credit or deduction.

Step 3

Divide your estimated tax by four to determine the amount of your quarterly payments. Enter this amount in the appropriate line on the form. For example, if your estimated tax is $38,000, enter $9,500 on the line.

Step 4

Fill in the estimated tax payment vouchers located on the last few pages of Form 1040ES. Enter the amount of your quarterly tax payments in all four vouchers and submit each payment by the deadline. Generally, estimated taxes are due on April 15, June 15, Sept. 15 and Jan. 15, but the IRS adjusts this schedule to accommodate weekends and holidays.