But if I make the estimated payment and don't owe anything come filing time (even get a small refund perhaps), I still have to pay a penalty because the 1st three quarters were low? Yes. It's a pay-as-you-go system.You have the information to calculate how much the penalty would be, so you can compare that to what the opportunity cost of the ES payment would be and make a fully-informed decision.PhilRule Your Retirement Home Fool
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