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ResNullius asks: "But how do you know the exact amount of 2012 withholding when you estimate your 2012 estimated payments in April 2012?"

You should be able to look at one of your DW's paystubs from the beginning of the year (i.e., from Jan 2013) and estimate her total annual withholdings for 2013. Assuming that all her paychecks are generally equal, just take the amount from that check times the total number of paychecks per year). If her paychecks are of varied amounts, you could use the total withholdings amount from last year and adjust up/down based on her projected income for this year.

Another option to consider (espeically if you don't want to stress over remembering the quarterly payments) may be able to simply avoid the quarterly estimated payments by adjusting DW's withholdings. She can submit a revised W-4 and request that a specific additional amount be withheld from each check. Of course, this only works as long as the amount of withholding does exceed her entire paycheck ;-).

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