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2020 Tax Estimate Goals

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  • kork13
    replied
    Honestly, I have no idea right now. Too much was abnormal about 2020 (only talking about taxes) that I can't (really: won't) make an estimate right now. I spent some tax free time in a combat zone, I moved (twice), sold one house, bought another, and most importantly, I'm stinking busy out of my mind... So I'm not taking the time to do an estimate. I'll deal with it later.

    Normally, I assess an estimate around July/August, and adjust my withholding to try to get within $500. More often than not, I manage to do that. One year, I got an $8 refund -- victory.

    This year, I simply don't have the time or attention to care. I'm deploying in April, so I might even just file for an extension. If I don't end up owing more than $1k, I'll call it "good enough".

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  • disneysteve
    replied
    Originally posted by HundredK View Post
    you can track cap gains
    How far in advance do funds typically announce their cap gains distributions? I was under the impression that it was only a couple of weeks in advance, so maybe early December.

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  • HundredK
    replied
    I track everything and aim to get it within $100 by the end of the year ($100 max that I owe, never aim for a refund). If you're meticulous, you can track cap gains and all of that, really every single thing that ends up on your taxes, but it does take a lot of tracking and work and certainly would be easier to just wait for the tax forms. But I enjoy tracking it all. So I just keep a perpetual tax estimate spreadsheet going so that I know my tax liability at any given time. If you want to keep it really simple, you could just do the safe harbor amount for the year and then pay whatever extra is due when you file your taxes.

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  • Fishindude77
    replied
    Self employed / retired so don't have taxed being taken out of a check. I estimate my income which it pretty easy, then pay a lump sum rather than quarterly's. At year end my CPA does our taxes and I either get a refund or pay a bit more to settle up, then make the lump sum payment for upcoming year.

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  • scfr
    replied
    For the past 20 years a fair bit of our income has come from self-employment income that varies quite a bit. So I pay estimated taxes based on the prior year's income. The tax due and amount paid are never close; it's either a big payment due or a big refund to be applied to the first estimated tax payment of the following year. I don't mind. I avoid penalties and interest and that's my objective.

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  • cypher1
    replied
    Before personal exemptions were removed, I was getting 800-1000 for refund, not including property tax refunds. Since then, I usually pay in 200-400. But last year I adjusted my withholding and increased my 401K contributions, so hoping to be closer to 0.

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  • disneysteve
    replied
    Originally posted by LivingAlmostLarge View Post
    Do you guys normally owe or get a refund? How close are you guys either way?
    It varies year to year.

    Last year (2019) we owed $946 on our Federal return but got a refund of $2,403 on our state return so a net refund of $1,457.

    It's impossible to predict with any certainty because of capital gains, medical expenses, and other variables that sometimes aren't known until late December.

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  • LivingAlmostLarge
    started a topic 2020 Tax Estimate Goals

    2020 Tax Estimate Goals

    So I've been tracking throughout the year our taxes. And I had to make rather large payments in Q4 of 2020. I am doing this on google docs because obviously I'm unsure about a few things but it appears with my payments I will still owe $505. This is the one year I really want to be sure I don't owe too much. Do you guys normally owe or get a refund? How close are you guys either way?
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