I heard different opinions on this matter from different articles and different tax experts, so could someone set the record straight?

I'm currently contracted with this company. I had filled out a W-9 form when I first started with the company.
I receive paychecks in full with no taxes withheld.
So my assumption is that I will be receiving a 1099-MISC form at the end of the year for my income tax file return. Is that correct?

Since this job is my only source of income, roughly $50K per year, my next assumption would be that I would have to pay out estimated taxes every quarter, adding up to at least 90% of my total taxes by the end of the tax year. Is that correct?

People, tax experts, and online articles have confused me saying different things on this matter.
Some say I don't have to pay out quarterly because I'm not a business owner and just a contractor with a company. Is that at all true?

Please help!

  • 1
    Have you received a paycheck yet? Are they giving you a pay stub that shows taxes being withheld?
    – Ben Miller
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 11:55
  • @BenMiller -- thanks for your question; I forgot to mention that so I updated my question. Yes I receive the paychecks in full with no taxes withheld.
    – BeemerGuy
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 11:56

1 Answer 1


You must pay your taxes at the quarterly intervals. For most people the withholding done by their employer satisfies this requirement. However, if your income does not have any withholding (or sufficient), then you must file quarterly estimated tax payments.

Note that if you have a second job that does withhold, then you can adjust your W4 to request further withholding there and possibly reduce the need for estimated payments.

Estimated tax payments also come into play with large investment earnings. The amount that you need to prepay the IRS is impacted by the safe harbor rule, which I am sure others will provide the exact details on.

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