The IRS expects that you will pay the taxes you owe throughout the year. This is done either through withholdings from your earnings or by the payment of estimated taxes (using estimated payment vouchers). These estimated taxes are to be paid quarterly (June 15, September 15, January 15 and April 15). Estimated taxes are generally paid by taxpayers who derive their income from sources other than salaries and wages, such as a sole proprietors, partner, S corporation shareholders and/or a self-employed individual.
The general rule is that you will pay estimated tax for the current tax year if both of the following apply:
- You expect to owe at least $1000 in tax for the current tax year after subtracting your withholdings and credits.
- You expect your withholding and credits to be less than the smaller of;
- 90% of the tax to be shown on your current tax return, or
- 100% of the tax shown on your prior year tax return. Your prior year tax return must cover all 12 months.
In general, you may owe a penalty for the current tax year if the total of your withholdings and timely estimated payments did not equal at least the smaller of the above amounts. Penalties may also apply if you are late paying any estimated tax payments. (See the quarterly due dates above.) File Form 2210 for Federal penalties. The taxpayer should not owe underpayment penalties if he is a U.S. citizen or resident and did not owe taxes for the previous year’s return that covered 12 months.
Higher Income Taxpayers: If your adjusted gross income (AGI) for 2011 was more than $150,000 ($75,000 if your 2012 filing status is married filing separately), substitute 110% for 100% in the criteria outlined above. This rule does not apply to farmers or fishermen.
Penalty figured separately for each required payment: You may incur more than one penalty, as the penalty is figured separately for each installment due date. Therefore, you may owe a penalty for an earlier due date even if you paid enough tax later to make up the underpayment (because even though you “caught up” on what you owed, you are still penalized for missing the payment when it was due). This is true even if you are due a refundwhen you file your tax return. However, you may be able to reduce or eliminate the penalty by using the annualized income installment method. For further instructions see Pub. 505- Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax.
If you do need to file Form 2210 you can find the form within the Federal section – Enter Myself Payments and Estimates section of our program.
For additional Information:
**Due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the IRS has lowered the percentage (#3 above) to 80% for tax year 2018