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I am a little confused on one point. I thought that once you selected either: Method (1) 100% of last years taxes; or Method (2) 90% of current year's taxes -- you are stuck with FIXED quarterly payments using whatever method you initially selected. In other words, I did not think you could adjust/ manipulate your SE payments?

Sure you can. Each quarter can be a different amount.

I thought I read somewhere that if your quarterly payments arenot uniform (i.e same amount, then the IRS will automatically hit you with a penalty. Is this correct?

No. What may well happen is that if your earlier quarterly payments are lower than the average required payment (based either on the 90% or 100% safe harbor), and you don't include a Form 2210 with your return, you may get a notice from IRS with a penalty assessment. But even at that point, you can respond with a 2210 and get the assessment dropped.

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