I don't have my tax information. How do I estimate my tax liability?


In order to file a federal extension the IRS requires you to estimate your tax liability (in otherwords, the total amount of taxes you will owe). If you are unsure how much this is, you may choose to use last year's tax return or make your best guess. Please note: You want to make your estimate as accurate as you can with the information you have. (Note: You can round off cents to the nearest whole dollar)

If you have no forms or past data, you may be able to use the IRS calculator at http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/IRS-Withholding-Calculator to estimate tax liability.

 

Estimating Tax Liability

This is the sum of all taxes you are responsible for to the IRS for the 2014 tax year. Unless you've had significant changes to your income and/or deductions, the average taxpayer can estimate this by using information entered in last year's tax return.

Using Forms from your 2013 Tax Filings to Estimate Tax Liability:

Using Forms from your 2014 Tax Filings to Estimate Tax Liability:

You want to make your estimate as accurate as possible with the information you have. (Note: You can round off cents to the nearest whole dollar; Enter 0 for the amount of $0). If you are still unsure what to enter for your total tax liability, you can use the help box on the right to submit a question.

 

Estimating Tax Payments

Using last year's return to estimate any payments you have made:

First start by obtaining the total payments last year, this information can be found on the following line of your return.

If you filed using a Form 1040 go to line 72 (excluding line 68)
If you filed using a Form 1040A go to line 41
If you filed using a Form 1040EZ go to line 9

Using this year's return to estimate any payments you have made:

First start by obtaining the total payments last year, this information can be found on the following line of your return.

If you filed using a Form 1040 go to line 74 (excluding line 70)
If you filed using a Form 1040A go to line 46
If you filed using a Form 1040EZ go to line 9

Please note: if you have your W2's/1099's from this year it is more accurate to use this information.

Now for calculating your balance due, you want to subtract the total payments you made from your total tax liability. If the payments are more than the liability (in other words, you expect a refund) enter "0" on your extension.

 

Determining the amount that you need to pay:

How much of the balance due are you paying with your extension? Payments can be made both by mail and online. If you are unable to pay the full balance due, you can still get an extension. However, you may owe interest on any underpayment so you should try to pay as much as you can to reduce the interest owed.

A Note about using Form W2

For the average taxpayer, unless you've had significant changes to your income and/or deductions this year, last year's tax return is typically a better measure of this year's tax liability and tax payments than using a W2. Alternatively, if you have not made additional withhold payments (such as estimated tax payments), your W2 is a good resource for tax payment information when asked on the application for extension. If you must use your W2 for estimating tax payments and tax liability, you can use Box 2 Federal income tax withheld