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1. Line 1, "amount of NY adjusted gross income." How do I calculate this? If I will solely be working in NY in 2011, is this amount simply my AGI that I estimated ($45,900)?

NY AGI is federal AGI with some state-specific adjustments. On the subtraction side, taxable refunds of state income tax and social security are excluded from NY AGI. On the addition side, tax-exempt interest from bonds issued by non-NY entities is taxable on the NY side.

See NY Form IT-201 and its instructions for the full list of adjustments that turn federal AGI into NY AGI.

2. Line 25, "110% of personal income tax shown on 2010 income tax return," and Line 26, "the lesser of lines 24/25," which is the required annual payment. For me, if I calculated correctly, Line 25 is far, far less; so why did I have to fill out this entire form w/ all the calculations instead of just calculating 110% of my 2010 income tax?

You're doing a worksheet that estimates your 2011 NY tax return. This worksheet is not filed. The actual IT-2105 only has your identifying information and how much you're paying. If you know that you had much lower NY taxes in 2010 than you will have in 2011, the easy answer is to just use the 2010 taxes for your safe harbor amount. You will still have the issue of paying the full amount of tax for 2011; it's just that you can hang onto much of the cash till April 2012 because you have a low safe harbor amount based on low 2010 taxes.

Perhaps I am using the wrong number; is the personal income tax "total NY State tax" (line 50) and "Total NYC tax" (line 55) of the state return (IT-203)?

IT-203 is the nonresident/part year resident form. Presumably you were a part-year resident in 2010, and that is why your 2010 taxes are much lower than your estimate of 2011 taxes. If you stay in NY long term, and your income is fairly stable, expect the 2011 income tax and the 2012 estimated tax to be closer than the numbers you're seeing now for 2010 and estimated 2011.

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