How to File Taxes for Contract Labor

••• A young woman holding a pen, doing her taxes image by Christopher Meder from

Contract laborers are independent contractors who are responsible for paying their taxes to the government on a quarterly basis. Contract laborers fill out a 1099 form and submit it to the government once yearly. Then they make quarterly payments by the 15th day after the quarter has ended. Payments and submissions are made by mail or filed online.

Paper Filing

All paper filing requires two forms: the 1096 and 1099. Fill out these forms appropriately. Guidelines for filling out these forms is found on the IRS site in the References section below.

Divide total amount of taxes owed for the year by 12 to get the monthly amount. The IRS takes tax payments in four quarters but they are not equal in length, so you can't divide evenly by four. The first quarter's taxes are due on April 15, the second quarter's are due on June 15, the third quarter's on October 15, and the fourth quarter's on January 15. So pay three month's worth for the first and fourth quarters, two month's worth for the second quarter and four month's worth for the third.

Mail these forms and the first payment to the correct address based on your address of business or residency.

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia file at:

Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service Center Austin, TX 73301

Alaska, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming file at:

Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service Center Kansas City, MO 64999

Send in each quarterly payment by its due date.

File Online

Go to an online e-file site. The site recommended by the IRS is listed below in the Resource section. As of 2010, each form costs $3.79.

Fill out the forms according to the instructions. Set up repeating payments that are withdrawn from your bank account by the due date if you like.

Submit the form by clicking "Submit" on the site once you are finished.

Return to the site to pay the quarterly taxes if you didn't set up a repeating payment when you initially filed.