Form 1040 line 79 is for "estimated tax penalty", but my understanding is that this is for 'penalty for not paying estimated tax', not 'the estimated amount for all tax penalties'. If this is the case, where on Form 1040 is information for 'the estimated amount for all tax penalties' included? Is it included on line 78 without being listed separately? Or is it not listed at all on the form, but just paid along with the tax owed?

I've looked at IRS Publication 17, but have not found information about this. Various online sources go into detail about how to calculate the penalty, but not how to list it or pay it.

1 Answer 1


You can read the instructions to form 1040 on this. They're quite detailed. Specifically to your question:

If you include interest or penalties (other than the estimated tax penalty) with your payment, identify and enter the amount in the bottom margin of Form 1040, page 2. Do not include interest or penalties (other than the estimated tax penalty) in the amount you owe on line 78.

However, you can leave it empty and let the IRS calculate it for you and send you the bill. In some cases - they won't.

  • 1
    I've always wondered, how much roughly in the US is the "penalty, if you choose to just not pay the estimated tax each quarter and pay it all at the end". i have heard, many small businesses just go ahead and do that and simply pay the penalty at the end, rather than bothering to pay the quarterly estimates? I mean, is it a very small amount, or "2 percent" or ??
    – Fattie
    Commented Jun 29, 2016 at 14:02
  • @JoeBlow: That might be good to ask as a separate question.
    – BrenBarn
    Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 6:23

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