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Filing and paying quarterly taxes as a contractor

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Hi all!!

I have been happily living in the United States for the last 10 months. I currently work as a healthcare contractor and as a result, taxes are not taken out of my pay checks and I have to do this myself. I am required to pay my estimated taxes quarterly.

The only difficulty is I have no record of paying for taxes in the previous year (2015) and as I filed taxes jointly with my husband, I have to use his name when I make the payment.

Am I doing this correctly? I would hate to be doing it incorrectly and get penalized.

Thank you for your help!!

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Since you're a private contractor, pay you taxes quarterly, and at the end of the year, they will bring you w2 and you can file together with your husband and that will have both names on it. I'm afraid if you're name is not on his taxes, then you've not been doing it correctly.

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You'll need to make an educated guess at how much you'll earn and what you should then be taxed for each quarter. Unfortunately they don't make this the easiest thing at all, especially if you've missed a quarter and get interest and penalties added to it. The best thing to do is roughly work it out now how much you expect to earn for the year, work out tax, split it by four to know what you'd estimate paying for each quarter and then make a payment if you've missed a quarter or two. You can make payments at any time and it's best to do it ASAP to reduce as much interest as you can.


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Hi all!!

I have been happily living in the United States for the last 10 months. I currently work as a healthcare contractor and as a result, taxes are not taken out of my pay checks and I have to do this myself. I am required to pay my estimated taxes quarterly.

The only difficulty is I have no record of paying for taxes in the previous year (2015) and as I filed taxes jointly with my husband, I have to use his name when I make the payment.

Am I doing this correctly? I would hate to be doing it incorrectly and get penalized.

Thank you for your help!!

Are you using Form 1040-ES to file and make the estimated quarterly payments? You should use your own name and SSN/TIN when you make these payments so they are properly accounted for and credit is applied correctly. Even though you file a joint return, your contract work is reported individually just as your husband's employment is reported individually on a W-2, I'm assuming.

My bet is your husband's withholding on his W-2 was (is) probably sufficient to cover any tax owed coming from your contract work. In some cases, you may not even need to make quarterly estimated payments. You should work thru the worksheet.

Have you filed the 2015 tax return? This will give you an idea of where you stand on quarterly payments.

Also, here's the link to the Form 1040-ES: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040es.pdf

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The only difficulty is I have no record of paying for taxes in the previous year (2015) and as I filed taxes jointly with my husband, I have to use his name when I make the payment.

Am I doing this correctly? I would hate to be doing it incorrectly and get penalized.

Thank you for your help!!

If you filed jointly, then your name and SSN are as much a part of the tax record as his. File your quarterly payments with Form 1040-ES using your name and SSN.

HOWEVER, even if the payment goes in under his name and SSN, it doesn't matter if you continue to file a joint return. When you file 2016 tax return, all money already paid in by either of you gets dumped into one pot so to speak on the joint return, whether it was held out of a paycheck or sent in directly to IRS by you or him. Keep a record of when and how much you paid in because nobody is going to send you a statement telling you. It won't be on your husband's W2 because that states only what HIS employer sent on his behalf. It won't be on your 1099 because the one who pays you income doesn't report that.

Nobody is checking to make sure YOU pay under your name exactly quarterly. It is suggested that you pay quarterly since nobody holds out of your check. The IRS does not want you to pay it all at the end when you file the return and can add a penalty fee if you owe them too much. If your husband has a lot of extra held out of his check, then it can be enough to cover your part. Example if your husband paid in more than he should, it would be a refund. BUT if you hadn't paid in anything, his extra money would cover what you didn't pay in because it it a JOINT return.

If you were going to file a separate return, then it would be important that you get credit for your payments. On a joint return, not so much.


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