This chapter discusses how to pay your tax as you earn or receive income during the year. In general, the federal income tax is a pay-as-you-go tax. There are two ways to pay as you go:
- Withholding. If you are an employee, your employer probably withholds income tax from your pay. Tax may also be withheld from certain other income--including pensions, bonuses, commissions, and gambling winnings. In each case, the amount withheld is paid to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in your name.
- Estimated tax. If you do not pay your tax through withholding, or do not pay enough tax that way, you might have to pay estimated tax. People who are in business for themselves generally will have to pay their tax this way. You may have to pay estimated tax if you receive income such as dividends, interest, capital gains, rent, and royalties. Estimated tax is used to pay not only income tax, but self-employment tax and alternative minimum tax as well.
This chapter explains both of these methods. In addition, it explains:
- Credit for withholding and estimated tax. When you file your 2000 income tax return, take credit for all the income tax withheld from your salary, wages, pensions, etc., and for the estimated tax you paid for 2000.
- Underpayment penalty. If you did not pay enough tax during the year either through withholding or by making estimated tax payments, you may have to pay a penalty. The IRS usually can figure this penalty for you. See Underpayment Penalty, near the end of this chapter.
- 505 - Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax
- 553 - Highlights of 2000 Tax Changes
- 919 - How Do I Adjust My Tax Withholding?
Form (and Instructions)
- W-4 - Employees Withholding Allowance Certificate
- W-4P - Withholding Certificate for Pension or Annuity Payments
- W-4S - Request for Federal Income Tax Withholding From Sick Pay
- W-4V - Voluntary Withholding Request
- 1040-ES - Estimated Tax for Individuals
- 2210 - Underpayment of Estimated Tax by Individuals, Estates, and Trusts
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