I'm an independent contractor and I sent in my first quarterly estimated federal tax payment for 2023, but I realized that I went way over. Is it possible to pay less in the coming three quarters (while still maintaining the same annual amount) and not be penalized?
Yes. In each quarter the penalty is based on a measurement of the taxes paid vs. the required taxes from January 1 to the end of the quarter in question.
As an extreme example, let's say your required estimated payments are $5,000 per quarter ($20,000 for the year) to satisfy the safe harbor requirements. Your required payments would be $5,000 for Q1, $10,000 through Q2, $15,000 through Q3, and $20,000 for the whole year. You can pay all $20,000 when Q1 estimated taxes are due and be done for the year.