Who must make estimated payments
If you are required to file a tax return and your Virginia income tax liability, after subtracting income tax withheld and any allowable credits, is expected to be more than $150, then you must make estimated tax payments or have additional income tax withheld throughout the year from your wages or other income.
How to make an estimated payment
We offer multiple options to pay estimated taxes.
- Log in to your individual online services account and choose "Make an Estimated Payment." If you don't have an account, enroll here. You'll need a copy of your most recently filed Virginia tax return to enroll.
- Use the 760ES eForm. No login or password is required. Make sure you choose the correct voucher number.
See all options to file and pay estimated taxes.
Electronic filing requirement
Effective for taxable years beginning on Jan. 1, 2017, taxpayers who make estimated tax payments must submit all of their income tax payments electronically if:
- Any installment payment of estimated tax exceeds $15,000 or
- Any payment made for an extension of time to file exceeds $15,000 or
- The total estimated income tax due in any taxable year exceeds $60,000.
If any of the thresholds above apply to you, all future income tax payments must be made electronically. This includes all payments for estimated taxes, extensions of time to file, and any other amounts due when a return is filed.
How to estimate
You must pay at least 90% of your tax liability during the year by having income tax withheld and/or making timely payments of estimated tax. An estimated payment worksheet is available through your individual online services account to help you determine your estimated tax liability and how many payments you should make. Log in and select "Make an Estimated Payment."
If your estimated tax liability is greater than $150 you are required to make estimated tax payments. Use the payment table below to determine the number and amount of each installment payment.
The number and amount of estimated income tax payments you need to make are based on when you became liable for estimated tax payments. For example:
- If you are self-employed you could be responsible for making estimated tax payments throughout the entire tax year and you would make 4 tax payments in equal installments on or before May 1, June 15, Sept. 15 and Jan. 15; or
- If your employer was withholding taxes from your paycheck from January through June and then your circumstances changed so that no taxes were being withheld then you would be responsible for making estimated tax payments yourself for the remainder of the tax year. In this example you would make 2 estimated tax payments on Sept. 15 and Jan. 15.
Use the voucher number which corresponds to the period you became subject to the tax. For example, you receive a large bonus on Nov. 1. The full estimated tax on that bonus is due on Jan. 15 and should be filed using Voucher 4, even though it is your first payment.
|Date you expect to become responsible for making estimated tax payments||Number of payments required||Percentage of your estimated tax liability to be paid|
|Voucher 1 (Due May 1)||Voucher 2 (Due June 15)||Voucher 3 (Due Sept. 15)||Voucher 4 (Due Jan. 15)|
|Jan. 1 - April 15||4||25%||25%||25%||25%|
|April 16 - June 1||3||-||33%||33%||33%|
|June 2 - Sept. 1||2||-||-||50%||50%|
|Sept. 2 - Dec. 31||1||-||-||-||100%|
If you are required to file estimated payments and the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, you may file your estimated payment on the next business day.
For fiscal year taxpayers substitute the 15th day of the 4th month for May 1, the 15th day of the 6th month for June 15, the 15th day of the 9th month for Sept. 15 and the 15th day of the first month of the succeeding taxable year for Jan. 15. Please indicate the beginning month of your fiscal year on 760ES voucher.
Farmers, fishermen and merchant seamen
Farmers, fishermen and merchant seamen who receive 2/3 of their estimated Virginia gross income from self-employed farming or fishing have special filing requirements, which allow them to make fewer payments. If you meet the qualifications of a farmer, fisherman or merchant seaman, you only need to file an estimated payment (Voucher 4) by Jan. 15. If you file your income tax return on or before March 1 and pay the entire tax at that time, you are not required to file estimated tax payments for that tax year.
Changes in income or exemptions
If your expected Virginia adjusted gross income changes during the year, re-compute your estimated tax to determine how much your remaining payments should increase or decrease.
A change in income, deductions or exemptions may require you to file an estimated payment later in the year. If you file your state income tax return and pay the balance of tax due in full by March 1, you are not required to make the estimated tax payment that would normally be due on Jan. 15.
If you file your return after March 1 without making the January payment, or if you have not paid the proper amount of estimated tax on any earlier due date, you may be liable for an additional charge for underpayment of estimated tax.
Underpayment of estimated income tax
An addition to tax is imposed by law if at least 90% (66 2/3% if you are a farmer, fisherman, or merchant seaman) of your total tax liability is not paid throughout the year by timely withholding and/or installments of estimated tax except in certain situations. The addition to tax does not apply if each required installment is paid on time and meets one of the following exceptions:
- Is at least 90% (66 2/3% for farmers, fishermen or merchant seamen) of amount due based on annualized income
- Is at least 90% (66 2/3% for farmers, fishermen or merchant seamen) of amount due based on the actual taxable income;
- Is based on a tax computed by using your income for the preceding taxable year and the current year's tax rates and exemptions;
- Is equal to or exceeds the prior year's tax liability for each installment period and the prior year return was for a full year and reflected an income tax liability; or
- The sum of all installment underpayments for the taxable year is $150 or less
If you qualify for an exception, your underpayment computation will be based on 90% of the current year's income tax liability or 100% of your liability for the preceding year, whichever is less. The addition to tax is computed on Form 760C (or Form 760F for farmers, fishermen and merchant seamen).
Joint estimated tax payments
A husband and wife may file a joint Form 760ES unless:
- They are legally separated or divorced
- They have different taxable years or
- One is a nonresident of this state (unless both are required to file a Virginia return)
If you file a joint Form 760ES, but do not file a joint income tax return, the estimated tax may be treated as the estimated tax of either husband or wife, or may be divided between both spouses as mutually agreed. Attach a statement to the front of each spouse's tax return that specifies the amount claimed by each spouse.