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While calculating a safe harbor is pretty easy, it's not always the right way to go. It works well when your income is rising from the prior year to the current year. But when your income falls, the safe harbors generally have you paying in too much in taxes.

In this case, since the OP was worried about owing extra taxes from realizing significant capital gains, and indicated that their income from employment was similar, maybe slightly less than 2017 because they increased their 401(k) contribution, it probably is the way to go.

AJ
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