Estimated tax is a method used to pay tax on income that is not subject to withholding. This income includes self-employment income, interest, dividends, alimony, rent, gains from the sale of assets, prizes, and awards.
Income tax generally is withheld from pensions and annuity payments you receive. However, if the tax withheld from your pension (or other) income is not enough, you may have to pay estimated tax. If you do not pay enough tax through withholding, by making estimated tax payments, or both, you may be charged a penalty.taxmap/pubs/p554-016.htm#en_us_publink100043751
If you had a tax liability for 2008, you may have to pay estimated tax for 2009. Generally, you must make estimated tax payments for 2009 if you expect to owe at least $1,000 in tax for 2009 after subtracting your withholding and credits, and you expect your withholding and credits to be less than the smaller of:
- 90% of the tax to be shown on your 2009 tax return, or
- 100% of the tax shown on your 2008 tax return. The 2008 tax return must cover all 12 months.
If all of your income will be subject to income tax withholding, you probably do not need to make estimated tax payments.
For more information on estimated tax, see Publication 505.