When we built Everlance, we wanted to make running your business as easy as possible, and a major part of that is managing your taxes. Dashers face unique challenges when it comes to taxes. One such challenge is the requirement to pay quarterly taxes. In this blog post, we will provide a comprehensive guide for Dashers on understanding and managing their quarterly taxes, along with valuable tips to optimize deductions and ensure tax compliance..and of course, at the end,

What are Quarterly Taxes?

As an independent contractor, one of the key responsibilities you have is paying quarterly taxes. Unlike traditional employees who have taxes withheld from their paychecks, self-employed individuals, including Dashers, are required to estimate and pay their taxes on a quarterly basis.

Quarterly taxes, also known as estimated taxes, are prepayments of the income and self-employment taxes you owe to the government. These payments contribute to your annual tax liability and help you avoid a large tax bill at the end of the year. The purpose of quarterly taxes is to ensure that the government receives a steady stream of tax revenue throughout the year, rather than waiting until the annual tax filing deadline.

Payment Schedule and Deadlines

Quarterly tax payments are due four times a year, generally on the following dates:

  • April 15: First quarter payment (covering January 1 to March 31)
  • June 15: Second quarter payment (covering April 1 to May 31)
  • September 15: Third quarter payment (covering June 1 to August 31)
  • January 15 (of the following year): Fourth quarter payment (covering September 1 to December 31)

It's important to note that if the due date falls on a weekend or a holiday, the deadline is typically extended to the next business day. Make sure to mark these dates on your calendar and set reminders to avoid missing any payment deadlines.

Who Needs to Pay Quarterly Taxes?

Quarterly taxes generally apply to individuals who expect to owe $1,000 or more in taxes after subtracting any tax withholding and refundable credits. If you anticipate owing less than $1,000 in total taxes for the year, you may be exempt from making quarterly payments. However, it's always a good idea to consult with a tax professional to determine your specific obligations based on your income and circumstances.

For Dashers and other self-employed individuals, quarterly tax payments are crucial because they don't have taxes withheld from their earnings. Instead, they are responsible for calculating and paying their taxes directly to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and, if applicable, to their state tax agency.

Penalties for Failure to Pay Quarterly Taxes

Failing to pay quarterly taxes or underpaying the required amount can result in penalties and interest charges. The IRS imposes penalties as a way to encourage timely and accurate tax payments. These penalties can increase your overall tax liability and add unnecessary financial stress.

To avoid penalties, it's important to estimate your quarterly tax payments accurately and make the payments in full and on time. It's better to slightly overestimate your tax liability to ensure you have met the payment requirements. Additionally, staying organized and keeping detailed records of your income and expenses will help you accurately calculate your tax liability and avoid potential penalties.

Remember, paying quarterly taxes is an ongoing responsibility as long as you continue to earn income as an independent contractor. By staying compliant with your tax obligations, you can avoid unnecessary penalties and ensure a smooth tax filing process at the end of the year.

Calculating Quarterly Tax Payments

Estimating your quarterly tax payments accurately is essential to avoid underpayment penalties and ensure you meet your tax obligations. Here are the steps to help you estimate your payments:

Step 1: Calculate your expected annual income: Begin by estimating your total income for the year. This includes earnings from your Dasher activities, as well as any other sources of self-employment income. Consider factors such as average weekly earnings, seasonal fluctuations, and any expected changes in your business.

Step 2: Determine your business expenses: Identify and track your deductible business expenses. This may include mileage, vehicle maintenance and repairs, phone and internet bills, equipment or supplies, and any other expenses directly related to your Dasher activities. Subtracting these expenses from your estimated income will give you your net income.

Step 3: Calculate your self-employment tax: As a self-employed individual, you are responsible for paying both the employer and employee portions of Social Security and Medicare taxes, commonly known as self-employment tax. Multiply your net income by the self-employment tax rate (15.3%) to estimate your self-employment tax liability.

Step 4: Estimate your income tax: Use the estimated income tax rates provided by the IRS to calculate your federal income tax liability. Consider any deductions, exemptions, and credits you may be eligible for, as they can reduce your taxable income.

Step 5: Determine your total tax liability: Add your self-employment tax and estimated income tax to calculate your total tax liability for the year.

Step 6: Divide your total tax liability by four: Since quarterly taxes are paid four times a year, divide your estimated annual tax liability by four to determine the amount you should pay each quarter.

Resources to Help Calculate Estimated Quarterly Taxes

Estimating quarterly tax payments can be complex, but several tools and resources are available to simplify the process:

  • Online Tax Calculators: Use online tax calculators to input your income, deductions, and other relevant information. These calculators can provide a rough estimate of your quarterly tax payments based on the current tax rates.
  • IRS Form 1040-ES: The IRS provides Form 1040-ES, which includes a worksheet to help you calculate your estimated tax liability. It provides instructions and guidelines to assist you in estimating your payments accurately.
  • Tax Preparation Software: Consider using tax preparation software like H&R Block, TaxAct, or TurboTax. These platforms often have features that can help you estimate and track your quarterly tax payments throughout the year.
  • Consult a Tax Professional: If you are uncertain about estimating your quarterly tax payments or have a more complex tax situation, it's advisable to consult a tax professional. They can provide personalized guidance, ensure accurate calculations, and help you navigate any specific tax laws or deductions that apply to your circumstances.

By following these steps and utilizing available tools and resources, you can estimate your quarterly tax payments more accurately and stay on track with your tax obligations as a Dasher. Remember to review and adjust your estimates periodically, especially if your income or business circumstances change throughout the year.

Reducing your tax burden

Identifying Deductions

As a Dasher, there are various deductions you can claim to reduce your taxable income and lower your overall tax liability. Here are some common deductions that Dashers may be eligible for:

  • Mileage Deduction: One of the most significant deductions for Dashers is the mileage deduction. Keep track of the miles you drive for business purposes, including the distance traveled while making deliveries. The IRS provides a standard mileage rate that you can multiply by the total business miles to calculate your deduction. Alternatively, you can opt for actual expenses related to your vehicle, such as fuel, maintenance, insurance, and depreciation.
  • Vehicle Expenses: In addition to the mileage deduction, you may be able to deduct other vehicle-related expenses. This includes costs for registration, licensing fees, parking fees, tolls, and any necessary repairs or maintenance directly related to your Dasher activities.
  • Phone and Internet Expenses: If you use your phone or internet connection for business purposes, a portion of these expenses may be deductible. Keep track of the percentage of time you use your phone or internet for work-related tasks and claim that portion as a deduction.
  • Equipment and Supplies: Any equipment or supplies you purchase exclusively for your Dasher activities can be deducted. This includes items such as insulated bags, smartphone mounts, chargers, and other tools necessary for your deliveries.
  • Health Insurance Premiums: If you are self-employed and not eligible for a health insurance plan through another source, you may be able to deduct your health insurance premiums. This deduction can help lower your taxable income.
  • Home Office Deduction: If you have a dedicated space in your home used solely for your Dasher business, you may qualify for a home office deduction. This deduction allows you to deduct a portion of your home-related expenses, such as rent, mortgage interest, utilities, and home maintenance costs.

Importance of Record-Keeping

To substantiate your deductions and ensure accurate tax reporting, it is crucial to maintain thorough and organized records. Here are some record-keeping tips:

  • Keep a mileage log: Maintain a detailed mileage log that includes the date, starting location, destination, purpose, and miles driven for each business-related trip. This log will help you accurately calculate your mileage deduction. At Everlance, we pride ourselves on automating mileage tracking for you and providing it in an IRS-compliant form that can be exported at any time.
  • Save receipts and invoices: Keep all receipts and invoices for business-related expenses, including vehicle expenses, equipment purchases, phone and internet bills, and supplies. Organize them by category and store them in a safe place, or simply link a bank account and let Everlance handle this for you.
  • Maintain bank and credit card statements: Keep copies of your bank and credit card statements that show business-related transactions. Highlight or annotate expenses that are directly related to your Dasher activities.

By maintaining accurate records and organizing your business-related expenses, you can substantiate your deductions and minimize the risk of errors during tax filing. It is important to consult with a tax professional or utilize tax software to ensure you claim all eligible deductions and maximize your tax savings.

Note: Tax laws and regulations may vary, so it's advisable to consult a tax professional to understand the specific deductions available to you based on your individual circumstances and the tax laws of your jurisdiction.


Understanding and managing quarterly taxes is crucial for Dashers to maintain their financial well-being and ensure compliance with tax regulations. By following this comprehensive guide, Dashers can navigate their tax obligations effectively, optimize deductions, and minimize their tax liability. Remember, consulting with a tax professional is always recommended for personalized advice and guidance. Stay organized, keep accurate records, and make quarterly tax payments a seamless part of your Dasher journey with Everlance.

Everlance is available for free, Dashers can get 20% off Everlance Premium to help automate mileage and expense tracking, plus find some deductions you may have missed! Follow the Dasher link to learn more.

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