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1.) previous year taxes were $900
2.) less than $1,000 is owed for the current tax year

The lowest safe harbor is $0, item 1.

Thanks for mentioning the 110% rule, as I failed to mention it seeing that it does not apply in our case. And, thanks for the clarification. I can see how the particular criterion that might be met could change in any given year depending on the amount of taxes paid and whether there is a substantial increase or decrease in ones taxable income. And, I can see how one could technically incur a penalty (even if he may otherwise be due a refund) if, while he meets at least one of the safe harbor criteria, he failed during the year to timely pay the proper amount of taxes as his income was earned. However, I'm still having a problem for practical purposes visualizing how "whichever is smaller" is meaningful so long as the tax payer pays his taxes timely and meets at least one of the safe harbor criteria. Presuming that ones taxes are paid timely, is it possible that one could meet only one safe harbor criterion and it not be the "smaller" amount, thus triggering a penalty? The phrase in question just seems a bit superfluous to me.
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