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Instead of having taxes withheld from a paycheck like W-2 employees, freelancers generally pay taxes every quarter based on their estimated tax obligation for each quarter. Then they file a tax return at the beginning of the year (prior to April 15) and either claim their refund from overpayment or pay any additional tax due, just like a typical wage earner.
Freelancers should pay their quarterly estimated taxes on the 15th of April, June, September, and the following January. If the 15th is on a weekend or holiday, the deadline will be the next business day.