Archives for January 12, 2017

IRS Estimated Taxes Due Dates 2017

irsclipIf you have significant self-employment or other income outside of your W-2 paycheck that is not subject to witholding (interest, rents, dividends, alimony), you may need to send the IRS some money before the usual tax-filing time. This is my annual reminder to either slide in a last-minute payment for 2016 if needed, or plan ahead for four equal installments in 2017.

Here are the due dates for paying quarterly estimated taxes in 2017; one last one for 2016 tax year and four quarterly installments for 2017 tax year. This is for federal taxes only, state and local tax due dates may be different.

IRS Estimated Tax Payment Calendar for Individuals

Tax Year / Quarter Due Date
2016 Fourth Quarter January 17, 2017* (Tuesday)
2017 First Quarter April 18, 2017 (Tuesday)
2017 Second Quarter June 15, 2017 (Thursday)
2017 Third Quarter September 15, 2017 (Friday)
2017 Fourth Quarter January 16, 2018 * (Tuesday)

* You do not have to make the payment due January 17, 2017, if you file your 2016 tax return by January 31, 2017, and pay the entire balance due with your return. You do not have to make the payment due January 16, 2018, if you file your 2016 tax return by January 31, 2018, and pay the entire balance due with your return.

Who needs to pay estimated taxes?
In general, you must pay estimated tax for 2017 if both of the following apply:

  1. You expect to owe at least $1,000 in tax for 2017, after subtracting your withholding and refundable credits.
  2. You expect your withholding and credits to be less than the smaller of
    • 90% of the tax to be shown on your 2017 tax return, or
    • 100% of the tax shown on your 2016 tax return. Your 2016 tax return must cover all 12 months.

If you forget to pay (like I’ve done before), then you should make a payment as soon as possible even though it is late. This will minimize any penalty assessed.

How do I pay? When does the payment count?

  • By check. Fill out the appropriate IRS Form 1040-ES voucher (last page of the PDF) and snail mail to the indicated address. The date of the U.S. postmark is considered the date of payment. No fees besides postage.
  • By online bank transfer. You can store your bank account information and pay via electronic funds transfer at or call 1-800-555-4477. It takes a little while to set up an online account initially, so you’ll need to plan ahead. For a one-time payment, you can also use IRS Direct Pay which does not require a sign-up but it also doesn’t store your bank account information for future payments. Both are free (no convenience fees). The date of payment will be noted online.
  • By debit or credit card. Here is page of IRS-approved payment processors. Pay by phone or online. Fees will apply, but the payment will count as paid as soon as you charge the card. You may also earn rewards on your credit card.

The following credit cards currently have the ability to offer rewards equal or greater than 1.87%, meaning you could theortically make money by paying your taxes with them. Please read my card-specific reviews for details.

How much should you pay in estimated taxes? You’ll need to come up with an expected gross income and then estimate your taxes, deductions, and credits for the year. The PDF of Form 1040-ES includes a paper worksheet to calculate how much in quarterly estimated taxes you should pay. You can also try online tax calculators like this one from H&R Block to estimate your 2016 tax liability, and divide by four quarters.

Disney Gift Card Discounts: 10%+ Off Your Disney Cruise or Vacation


Update: If you have an American Express Business card, look in the Amex Offers section of your online account page for 20% off a single in-store Sam’s Club purchase of $100+ (limit of to $250 back). You could use this offer a variety of ways, but one of them is to stack with the Disney Gift Card discount below. Thanks also to commenter Jamie. Here’s a screenshot (click to enlarge):


I bought 9 of the $150 face value packs at $142.98 each, for a total cost of $1286.82. (The $500 cards were not available in my store, and there were no transaction limits posted.) That would reach the max discount of $250 (20% of $1,250). Therefore, I will have gotten $1,350 of Disney credit and paid $1036.82, a 23% combined discount. (I’ll also get credit card rewards from the purchase.) If you were going to spend that much money on a Disney vacation or cruise anyway, that’s a $313.18 savings.

Original post:

If you are planning a Disney-related vacation, especially a package deal or Disney Cruise, I wanted to point out a current way to get 10%+ off of Disney gift cards. Act quickly though, as part of this deal will stop at the end of the 2016.

First 5% off. Right now, Sam’s Club is selling Disney gift cards at roughly a 5% discount to face value. There are two options:

Sometime they’re in stock online and sometimes they are only available in-store. The $500 gift card may be seasonal. There may be posted limits per transaction in the stores, but I’ve read several reports that you can buy more if you make separate purchases spaced apart (wait until the previous order is shipped and received). Alternatively, you can have a friend or family member buy them and pay them back.

Disney Gift Cards are valid at many places:

  • Walt Disney World® Resort (including hotels, restaurants, gift shops, etc.)
  • Disneyland® Resort
  • Disney Cruise Line
  • Disney Store locations in the U.S.
  • Disney PhotoPass™
  • Disney Vacation Club®
  • Adventures by Disney®
  • Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii
  • Disney’s Hilton Head Island and Vero Beach resorts

Second 5% off. In addition, both Chase Freedom and Discover have Sam’s Club as one of their quarterly 5% cash back categories until December 31st, 2016. That means you could theoretically get 5% back on $1,500 of Disney gift cards per card account. Discover also has Sam’s Club in Q1 2017, but not Chase Freedom. (If you and a partner both had a Chase Freedom and a Discover, that would cover up to $6,000 in total purchases in Q4 2016 and another $3,000 in Q1 2017.)

Finally, up to another 2% off? You can technically get another 2% discount on your Disney vacation package with the Disney Vacation Account. For every $1,000 you load into the account and spend on qualified vacation purchases, they will give you a $20 Disney gift card. Qualified purchases include:

  • Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida
  • Disneyland® Resort in California
  • Disney Cruise Line®
  • Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii
  • Adventures by Disney®

You can load your Disney Gift Cards into this account, although only up to $500 will count towards the DVA bonus.

You’ll be eligible for a $20 Disney Gift Card for every $1000 you spend on qualified vacation purchases with your Disney Vacation Account prior to December 31, 2017 (date subject to extension), up to a total $500 in Disney Gift Card(s) per household.

If you have a big package deal like a Disney Cruise, it’s not that much hassle to buy these gift cards and directly apply them to your balance. On a $3,000 cruise or vacation package, getting 10% off is a $300 savings.