Tax guidelines

Government supplied tax forms

The government has all of the tax forms you will need online; and, they can be downloaded and printed whenever necessary.  Some of your clients may request your business identification documents or simply have you fill out a (W-9) form.  This they will often supply.  Your clients will send you and the IRS form (1099-misc) every time you earn $600 or more from them.  You should pay your estimated income taxes quarterly with form (1040-ES).  Yearly you will file form (1040) with a form (1040 Schedule “C”).

If you use an accountant then checking with them is most appropriate.  As a self-employed individual you will either be incorporated (Inc.) or acting under limited lines (LLC).

Taxes and penalties

Most often freelancers pay taxes quarterly.  If you can’t afford to pay the entire amount it is always better to make a lesser payment than missing a payment entirely.  Missed quarterly tax payments most often result in IRS tax penalties.

Quarterly tax due dates

Regardless of when you started your self-employment your quarterly tax due-dates remain constant.  They are: 1St Quarter: 04/15  –  2nd Quarter: 06/15  –  3rd Quarter: 09/15  –  4th Quarter: 01/15 .  It is easy to get these dates confused, so they should be clearly noted on your yearly business calendar.  You will be paying taxes on the earning periods: 01/01 thru 03/31  –  04/01 thru 05/31  –  06/01 thru 08/31  –  09/01 thru 12/31.

The taxes due for the final quarter of each calendar year don’t have to be paid until the 15th of January in the next calendar year.  Depending on these actual due dates if they should fall on a legal holiday, Saturday or Sunday your payment may be postmarked as late as the next calendar business day.


I fully recommend online services such as H&R Block.  Tax forms can be downloaded from: (  They do not store or save any of your personal data.