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[[You're right. I wouldn't count on a foreigner to know U.S. tax law. She may
be right for the wrong reason, though.
First. You can't apply the $5,000 to your first installments because you
haven't filed yet to tell the IRS to do that. She's wrong on that score.]]

I would respectfully disagree.

A taxpayer may elect to apply all or any portion of the overpayment shown on his timely filed original or amended income tax return as a credit against his estimated income tax for the taxable year immediately succeeding the year for which such return is filed.

In such case, the overpayment is considered to be an estimated tax payment made on April 15 with respect to the next taxable year (the due date of the first installment for such year), unless the taxpayer notifies the IRS on his income tax return showing the overpayment to apply such overpayment against a different installment.

This is detailed in IRS Publication 505.

Once made, the election is binding. If the taxpayer elects a refund, the taxpayer cannot change the election on an amended return, to apply the overpayment as a credit against the estimated tax. Similarly, a taxpayer who elects to have all or part of an overpayment applied to his estimated income tax for the succeeding taxable year cannot revoke the election and have the overpayment refunded or applied as an offset against any additional tax liability subsequently determined, without the specific consent of the IRS.

It's completely legal, and normal.

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