The National Directory of Certified Public Accountants

Ask A CPA - Estimated Payments

Do I Have To Make Quarterly Estimated Payments ?

Generally, you must pay estimated tax for the current year if you expect to owe at least $1,000 in tax for the current year, after subtracting your withholding and refundable credits and you expect your withholding and refundable credits to be less than the smaller of: 90% of the tax to be shown on your current year tax return, or 100% of the tax shown on your prior year tax return. Your prior year tax return must cover all 12 months. These percentages may be different if you are a farmer, fisherman, or higher income taxpayer. You do not have to pay estimated tax for the current year if you were a U.S. citizen or resident alien for all of the prior year and you had no tax liability for the full 12-month prior year tax year. You had no tax liability for the prior year if your total tax was zero or you did not have to file an income tax return.

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