What product to use to determine estimated taxes
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What product to use to determine estimated taxes

We are a married couple. In 2019, we were employees and already filed the 2019 tax return using Turbotax Deluxe. In May 2020, one of us became self employed. We need to start paying estimated taxes on the self employment income. Do we now need to purchase the Self Employed edition? Can we use the Turbo Tax Deluxe 2019 edition that we had downloaded to do this? What's the easiest?

4 Replies
Level 15

What product to use to determine estimated taxes

If you are using the Desktop program you can use any version.

 

Go to….

Federal Taxes or Personal (Deskop H&B)

Other Tax Situations

Other Tax Forms

Form W-4 and Estimated Taxes - Click the Start or Update button

Level 15

What product to use to determine estimated taxes

You do not  need to purchase the Self Employed edition, to prepare your 2020 quarterly estimates.  You can do it in the 2019 software, you already paid for.  You will have to purchase the self employed edition, when you do your 2020 return in 2021.

 

Quarterly Estimates.

You should pay in quarterly estimated taxes if you don't have enough withholding taken out to cover the tax on all your income. You might be able to increase your W2 withholding, at your regular job, to account for your spouse's extra income.
You should make estimated tax payments for the current tax year if both of the following apply:
- 1. You expect to owe at least $1,000 in tax for the current tax year, after subtracting your withholding and credits. 
- 2. You expect your withholding and credits to be less than the smaller of: 90% of the tax to be shown on your current year’s tax return, or  100% of the tax shown on your prior year’s tax return. (Your prior year tax return must cover all 12 months.)


TurboTax (TT) can prepare the quarterly payment vouchers. In your 2019 software, enter at:

 

Federal Taxes or Personal (H&B version)

 

-Other Tax Situations

 

  -Other Tax Forms

 

    -Form W-4 and Estimated Taxes - Click the Start or Update button

 

On the next screen answer No to the W-4 question

 

 

If your goal is just to avoid the underpayment penalty, then paying 100% of the prior year tax liability is the “safe haven”


Or you can obtain  blank IRS Form 1040-ES from the IRS. The form and instructions are at this link:  https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040es.pdf

 

You can also pay Federal directly here.  Be sure to select 1040ES:

https://www.irs.gov/Payments

Level 15

What product to use to determine estimated taxes

You are finished with the 2019 version of TurboTax. All it can do is prepare a tax return for 2019. It is not designed to create estimates for 2020 using ongoing financial information.  For that, you may want to use an accounting program for your business such as QuickBooks, or you may want to calculate your estimated payments by hand.

 

When you file your tax return for 2020, you have several options. If you use TurboTax online, you must use the self-employed version. If you use the TurboTax desktop version version, which you install on your own Mac or PC from a CD or download, then you can use Deluxe or Home & Business.  Deluxe is cheaper and has all the same forms as home in business, but home in business will have additional in program guidance to help you enter your self-employed income and expenses.

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
Level 15

What product to use to determine estimated taxes

I believe TurboTax still offers QuickBooks self-employed version online (QBSE).  This is a monthly subscription product that comes in two flavors, one that is QuickBooks business accounting only, and one that includes TurboTax self-employment when you file your 2020 tax return.  It might be $10 or $15 a month, I don’t know the current pricing. The limitation of QBSE online is it can only handle one business. If you had more than one business, you would need to purchase the full version of QuickBooks to install on your own computer and it would not come bundled with TurboTax.

 

if you subscribed to QBSE now, it would help you prepare your quarterly estimated payments, and then when TurboTax is released for the 2020 season, your business information will transfer from QBSE into TurboTax.

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
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