Many entrepreneurs don't know about estimated taxes because as an employee you typically aren't responsible for submitting periodic tax payments to the IRS. Your company does that for you by withholding on your behalf.
As a self-employed person, you could be responsible for submitting period estimated tax payments. These are payments you submit quarterly. Basically instead of paying all of your taxes at year-end, you break them up into 4 payments. It is important to know the rules here because if you do not submit on time and you were required to do so, you could owe late penalties.
How do I know if I owe?
Always remember to check in with your accountant or CPA on the tax rules as they specifically apply to your business, but I want to give you a general rule for estimated taxes.
You will typically owe estimated tax payments if you expect to owe at least $1,000 in tax (this is the amount of tax you owe not your profit or revenue) for a certain tax year. States have their own requirements so remember to ask your accountant or look this up for your specific state. This is the rule for individuals. Corporations have a different requirement.
When do I pay?
The deadlines change slightly each year. To see the deadlines each year just google "1040-ES" (this is the tax form for estimated tax payments) and click on the form from the IRS website. The deadlines are listed in the instructions there. For 2017 see the deadlines below:
1st Payment.............April 18, 2017
2nd Payment...........June 15, 2017
3rd Payment............Sept. 15, 2017
4th Payment............Jan. 16, 2018
How to pay?
There are several ways to submit payment. I personally prefer the electronic submittal. It is very easy! To see the options go to the How to Pay Estimated Tax section here.
Please reach out if you have any questions!