What Is a 1040-ES Estimated Tax Form?


Quick Answer

A 1040-ES estimated tax form is used to calculate and submit payment for estimated taxes, reports the Internal Revenue Service. Estimated taxes are owed on any income for which taxes are not withheld, such as income from self-employment, rents, royalties and alimony. If a taxpayer does not choose to have taxes withheld from other sorts of income, such as unemployment compensation and a portion of Social Security payments, then a 1040-ES must be used for estimated payments.

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Full Answer

Form 1040-ES allows taxpayers to calculate the taxes owed during the current year or period by estimating income and taxes for the current year and comparing the amount to taxes paid in the previous year, explains Intuit. A taxpayer chooses the lowest amount of the two figures as the amount of estimated taxes due in the current year. In fact, although a taxpayer may be penalized for underpaying estimated taxes, there is no penalty if the taxpayer pays at least as much in estimated taxes as he paid in taxes the previous year, even if such a figure is significantly underneath the estimated amount for the current year. A taxpayer may be exempt from filing a Form 1040-ES but only if he paid no taxes the year before and was a U.S. citizen and resided in the United States for the entire year.

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