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**The information below has not been verified for the 2020 tax year as the IRS Form 1040-ES instructions have not yet been released by the IRS.**

Per IRS Instructions for Form 1040-ES Estimated Tax for Individuals:

Who Must Make Estimated Tax Payments

The estimated tax rules apply to:

  • U.S. citizens and resident aliens;
  • Residents of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa; and
  • Nonresident aliens (use Form 1040-ES (NR)).

General Rule

In most cases, you must pay estimated tax for 2020 if both of the following apply.

  1. You expect to owe at least $1,000 in tax for 2020, after subtracting your withholding and refundable credits.
  2. You expect your withholding and refundable credits to be less than the smaller of:
    a. 90% of the tax to be shown on your 2020 tax return, or
    b. 100% of the tax shown on your 2019 tax return. Your 2019 tax return must cover all 12 months.

Note. These percentages may be different if you are a farmer, fisherman, or higher income taxpayer. See Special Rules, later.

Exception. You don’t have to pay estimated tax for 2020 if you were a U.S. citizen or resident alien for all of 2019 and you had no tax liability for the full 12-month 2019 tax year. You had no tax liability for 2019 if your total tax was zero or you didn’t have to file an income tax return.

To enter the applicable estimated tax information into the TaxAct program:

  1. From within your TaxAct return (Online or Desktop), click Federal. On smaller devices, click in the upper left-hand corner, then click Federal.
  2. Click 2021 Estimated Tax Payments in the Federal Quick Q&A Topics menu, then click Yes.
  3. Continue with the interview process to enter all of the appropriate information.

Note that any link in the information above is updated each year automatically and will take you to the most recent version of the document at the time it is accessed.


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