Like federal taxes, taxpayers in California that have self-employed income must estimate how much they owe for every quarter and make their payments accordingly. Form 540-ES is a California state tax form for estimating and paying state for self-employed individuals.
This is directly tied to your state income tax bill and each payment should be a little more than what you actually owe. So, if you estimated a certain amount, it might be a better idea to pay slightly over it. Not too much, but just over it. For example, if you estimated that you would owe $1,500 for that quarter, pay $1,600 instead. The amount you overpay in total will be refunded to you anyways, so it’s completely okay to make payments in excess of your estimations.
Form 540-ES PDF
The above tax form is fillable online, which means you can fill out the copy on your computer and print out a paper copy once you’re done. It’s efficient and works best in the absence of a pen or simply when you’re not too confident with your handwriting. Besides, it’s a convenient way to fill out documents since you’ll print them out once with all the information entered.
Who needs to file Form 540-ES?
Pretty much every taxpayer that expects to owe at least $500 during the tax year must file Form 540-ES. If you’re paying estimated taxes by money or check order, make sure to file Form 540-ES on paper or online and print out a copy and mail it to the Franchise Tax Board.
On the 540-ES, you will need to provide the FTB with basic information for verifying your identity. Here is what you will need to enter on Form 540-ES.
- Your full name
- Spouse/RDP name if filing jointly
- Your TIN (SSN or ITIN)
- Spouse/RPD ITIN (SSN or ITIN)
- Payment amount
Make sure to enter the information on the right form for the quarter. You can see which tax form to use for what quarter by taking a look at the “File and Pay by..” mark on the top right of the form.