Sunday, February 15, 2009

Estimate Payment Update

As the result of legislation enacted last year, there is a new California estimate payment requirement beginning on or after January 1, 2009. This new law changed the percentage amount for estimated tax installment payments from four equal installments of 25 percent of the required annual amount to installments of 30 percent of the required annual amount for each of the first two installments and 20 percent of the required annual amount for the last two installments. The new law did not change withholding requirements, therefore, wage earners do not need to change their withholding to address the change to the percentage amount for estimated tax installment payments, so long as the total amount of tax owed with the return for 2009 or 2008, after being reduced by credits and taxes withheld for the applicable year, is less than $500 ($250 in the case of a married individual filing separately). This $500 threshold was increased this year. In previous years the threshold was $200.
Unlike an estimated tax installment payment, which must be paid in an amount required by the law to avoid an underpayment penalty for a particular installment, taxes on wages do not need to meet the percentages for estimated tax installment payments to avoid the penalty for underpayment of estimated taxes. Taxes withheld on wages can vary substantially over the year and withholding can be increased at anytime during the year to meet the less-than-$500-owed threshold and avoid the penalty. If, however, taxes withheld for a taxable year and credits for a taxable year do not reduce taxes owed to less than $500 for the current year or the prior year, then a taxpayer may need to make estimate payments, paid in the required installments, to avoid the penalty for underpayment of estimated tax.

1 comment:

footbolito17 said...

Great post..For more tax help, visit www.protaxcare.com