I've recently made the move from salaried employee to small business owner. Now instead of my employer sending in my taxes incrementally with each paycheck I need to pay my expected taxes quarterly.

Assuming I know how much to pay, how do I do so? I assume I'll need to send a check to both the US and state government but do I also need to pay social security or anything else separately? Are there any records I need to keep other than date/amount or any things I need to particularly watch out for?


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    I realize my question is answered in answers and comments on some of the related questions I've linked but they don't show up when searching for the question and it would be nice to have a definitive answer on the site. – Bryan Anderson Apr 9 '13 at 16:19
  • so why don't you write it up? You can answer your own question;-) – littleadv Apr 9 '13 at 17:45
  • @littleadv It seems to depend on the SE site whether that's encouraged or frowned upon. I wasn't sure which it was for this site. – Bryan Anderson Apr 9 '13 at 18:06
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    totally encouraged – littleadv Apr 9 '13 at 18:07

Congratulations on starting your own business.

Invest in a tax software package right away; I can't recommend a specific one but there is enough information out there to point you in the right direction: share with us which one you ended up using and why (maybe a separate question?)

You do need to make your FICA taxes but you can write off the SE part of it.

Keep all your filings as a PDF, a printout and a softcopy in the native format of the tax software package: it really helps the next tax season.

When you begin your business, most of the expenses are going to be straightforward (it was for me) and while I had the option of doing it by hand, I used software to do it myself.

At the beginning, it might actually seem harder to use the tax software package, but it will pay off in the end.

Build relationships with a few tax advisors and attorneys: you will need to buy liability insurance soon if you are in any kind of serious (non hobby) business and accounting for these are no trivial tasks.

If you have not filed yet, I recommend you do this: File an extension, overpay your estimated taxes (you can always collect a refund later) and file your return once you have had a CPA look over it.

Do not skimp on a CPA: it's just the cost of running your business and you don't want to waste your time reading the IRS manuals when you could be growing your own business.

Best of luck and come back to tell us what you did!

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    By tax software do you mean TurboTax type software or something like Quickbooks? – Bryan Anderson Apr 10 '13 at 0:05

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