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My first quarterly 2018 1040ES payment is due in April. As I have no regular withholding payments being made (being retired),I have to make quarterly payments to cover Federal income tax.

I thought this would be rather simple, use last year's AGI, take standard deduction, eliminate the personal exemption, then apply the new tax brackets. I was astounded to find that my tax liability had increased almost 50% from this past year (2017)!

Is there something that I'm missing in my process, how do other people calculate these quarterly payments?

BTW, TurboTax - for the very first time in years -- did not produce the 1040ES vouchers for the Fed (but did for State & Local).

  • It's not obvious from the info provided what went wrong if anything, but I'm not aware of any way a retiree could face a 50% tax increase given the same level of income. – Hart CO Feb 9 '18 at 0:36
  • @Hart CO, "sharpened my pencil" and your partially correct, the increased tax liability is only 22%. – BobE Feb 9 '18 at 3:10
  • That still seems really high, I've seen mostly reductions, and at the very high end of income a slight increase. – Hart CO Feb 9 '18 at 3:14
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    @Hart CO, the explanation is this: Consider the following: (1) same income level 2017 to 2018, BUT (2) reduction to deductions from 36K to 24K (largely due to SALT and other "reforms"), (3) elimination of 8.1K in personal exemptions creates a situation where the taxable income increases about 20K. That shift of 20K, in combination with change in tax brackets from 2017 to 2018, creates ~22% increase in tax burden. – BobE Feb 9 '18 at 3:19
  • in response to your "very high end of income", we are talking about initial taxable incomes less than 100K. I'm not sure that qualifies as "high end". I just found a neat calculator at taxact.com/tools/tax-bracket-calculator that seems to verify my BOE calculations. – BobE Feb 9 '18 at 3:24

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