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Publication 505

Chapter 2
Estimated Tax for 2011(p17)


Estimated tax is the method used to pay tax on income that is not subject to withholding. This includes income from self-employment, interest, dividends, alimony, rent, gains from the sale of assets, prizes, and awards. You also may have to pay estimated tax if the amount of income tax being withheld from your salary, pension, or other income is not enough.
Estimated tax is used to pay both income tax and self-employment tax, as well as other taxes and amounts reported on your tax return. If you do not pay enough tax, either through withholding or estimated tax, or a combination of both, you may have to pay a penalty. If you do not pay enough by the due date of each payment period (see When To Pay Estimated Tax on page 22), you may be charged a penalty even if you are due a refund when you file your tax return. For information on when the penalty applies, see chapter 4.
It would be helpful for you to have a copy of your 2010 tax return and an estimate of your 2011 income nearby while reading this chapter.


Useful items

You may want to see:

Form (and Instructions)
 1040-ES: Estimated Tax for Individuals
See chapter 5 for information about how to get this publication and form.


You may need to use several of the blank worksheets included in this chapter. See Table 2-2 on page 32 to locate what you need.

Who Does Not Have To Pay Estimated Tax(p17)

If you receive salaries and wages, you may be able to avoid paying estimated tax by asking your employer to take more tax out of your earnings. To do this, file a new Form W-4 with your employer. See chapter 1.

Estimated tax not required.(p17)

You do not have to pay estimated tax for 2011 if you meet all three of the following conditions.
You had no tax liability for 2010 if your total tax (defined on page 21 under Total tax for 2010—line 14b) was zero or you did not have to file an income tax return.