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I work as a contractor and I'm filing through TurboTax this year in the US.

I owe just over $1100 this year. I've always been in the green before this year - always received a refund.

The report that was generated just before I file has notes about due dates for payments, 4 equal payments spread 3 months apart.

I didn't select the payment plan option from Turbo Tax, and was expecting to have to pay the lump sum. (oh, I've been dreading it.)

If I continue with the file, will the IRS take the whole amount of the taxes or will they pull the amount from my checking account at those dates?

I recognize this is a green question - just looking for some basic reference material for my situation.

Turns out this question is very similar to this one: Are paying tax vouchers required?

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Turns out I had misunderstood what those dates really were. They were estimated payments for next year's taxes, not this year's. IRS will take the full amount due for 2012 taxes on April 15 when it is due. For 2013's taxes I have the option of paying in advance on a quarterly basis, or incurring a small penalty/fee and paying the full sum on April 15th next year.

  • @Chad It's my first year as a contractor, and I don't have any taxes withheld. I had no idea how the taxes would work at all. I assumed I'd owe but had no idea how much. I've got a better idea and plan to be more proactive about it for 2013. – Nicholas Pickering Apr 16 '13 at 1:56
  • @Nicholoas as long as you pay at least the tax liability for the previous year with your withholding/estimate payments, you'll be fine and no penalties will be assessed (unless you're a really high-earner, but then you can afford a tax accountant to work for you). – littleadv Apr 16 '13 at 4:59

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