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So in the simplest case, let's say I am not working and had all $40k of my gains from stocks in the 1st quarter. For estimated taxes, I would have to pay all of the estimated taxes in the Q1 estimated taxes payment, instead of spreading the total out between the 4 quarters.

This is not true. You can spread that payment throughout the year without penalty. If it turns out that there is additional income not subject to withholding later in the year, there might be a need to do the annualized income calculation, but there's no need to pay 100% of the estimated tax with the 4/15 payment.

Phil Marti
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