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Just to be clear: by "tax liability," are you referring to line 12a on my 1040 from 2019? Or line 16?

As I said in my original post You can find your 2019 tax liability on line 16 of your 2019 Form 1040

Line 12a does not include things like the child tax credit (line 13a) or self-employment tax (line 15), which all figure into your total tax liability. Line 12a is (mostly) taxes on your AGI without all those other pesky details.

(Last year: lower-paying job, 2+ months of unemployment, and a capital loss all helped to keep my tax bill relatively low. My "refund" exceeded my withheld taxes, thanks to the child tax credit and the additional child tax credit.)

Did you have a tax liability on line 16, or was line 16 = $0?

But this year one of my kids turned 17, plus I have a better paying job, and will (I hope) have no period of unemployment. Also, isn't there some rule about being unable to claim the child tax credit if I have investment income over $3,000?

No, the child tax credit income limit is based on your AGI being more than $400k if MFJ, $200k for Single, not investment income. You can't claim the EIC (Earned Income Credit) if your investment income is > $3,600. Maybe that's what you were thinking of?

And even if your kid is 17, there's still the 'other dependent' credit. Here's a calculator to help you figure out which credits your kids make you eligible for:

Can I just adjust my withholdings now to make sure sure an amount equal to 110% (of line 12a or line 16?) gets withheld between now and the end of the year?


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