General Instructions

Future developments.   For the latest information about developments related to Form 2210 and its instructions, such as legislation enacted after they were published, go to www.irs.gov/form2210.

What's New

Change in tax rates.   For the 2013 tax year, the highest tax rate on individuals is 39.6%.

Additional Medicare Tax.   Beginning in 2013, a 0.9% Additional Medicare Tax applies to Medicare wages, railroad retirement act (RRTA) compensation, and self-employment income over a threshold amount based on your filing status.

Net Investment Income Tax.   Beginning in 2013, you may be subject to Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT). NIIT is a 3.8% (.038) tax on the lesser of net investment income or the excess of your modified adjusted gross income over a threshold amount.

Medical and dental expenses.   Beginning in 2013, you can deduct only the part of your medical and dental expenses that exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income (7.5% if either you or spouse was born before January 2, 1949).

Personal exemption amount increased for certain taxpayers.   For tax years beginning in 2013, the personal exemption amount is increased to $3,900. There is a phaseout of the exemption, the amount of which is determined by the taxpayer's filing status and adjusted gross income.

Limit on itemized deductions.   Beginning in 2013, itemized deductions for taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes above $150,000 may be reduced.

Purpose of Form

Generally, use Form 2210 to see if you owe a penalty for underpaying your estimated tax and, if you do, to figure the amount of the penalty. Even if you are not required to file Form 2210, you can use it to figure your penalty if you wish to do so. In that case, enter the penalty on your return, but do not file Form 2210.

Who Must File Form 2210

Use the flowchart at the top of page 1 of Form 2210 to see if you must file this form.

If box B, C, or D in Part II is checked, you must figure the penalty yourself and attach Form 2210 to your return.

The IRS Will Figure the Penalty for You

If you did not check box B, C, or D in Part II, you do not need to figure the penalty or file Form 2210. The IRS will figure any penalty for underpayment of estimated tax and send you a bill. If you file your return by April 15, 2014, no interest will be charged on the penalty if you pay the penalty by the date shown on the bill.

If you want us to figure the penalty for you, complete your return as usual. Leave the penalty line on your return blank; do not file Form 2210.

Other Methods of Figuring the Penalty

We realize that there are different ways to figure the correct penalty. You do not have to use the method used on Form 2210 as long as you enter the correct penalty amount on the “Estimated tax penalty” line of your return.

However, if you are required to file Form 2210 because one or more of the boxes in Part II applies to you, you must complete certain lines and enter the penalty on the “Estimated tax penalty” line of your return.

  • If you use the short method, complete Part I, check the box(es) that applies in Part II, and complete Part III. Enter the penalty on line 17 and on the “Estimated tax penalty” line on your tax return.

  • If you use the regular method, complete Part I, check the box(es) that applies in Part II, complete Part IV, Section A, and the Penalty Worksheet, later. Enter the penalty on line 27 of the form, and on the “Estimated tax penalty” line on your tax return.

  • If you use the annualized income installment method, complete Part I, check the box(es) that applies in Part II, complete Schedule AI, complete Part IV, Section A, and the Penalty Worksheet, later. Enter the penalty on line 27 of the form, and on the “Estimated tax penalty” line on your tax return.

Who Must Pay theUnderpayment Penalty

In general, you may owe the penalty for 2013 if the total of your withholding and timely estimated tax payments did not equal at least the smaller of:

  1. 90% of your 2013 tax, or

  2. 100% of your 2012 tax. (Your 2012 tax return must cover a 12-month period.)

Special rules for certain individuals.   Different percentages are used for farmers and fishermen, and certain higher income taxpayers.

Farmers and fishermen.

If at least two-thirds of your gross income for 2012 or 2013 is from farming and fishing, substitute 662/3% for 90% in (1) above. See Farmers and fishermen, later, to see if you qualify.

Higher income taxpayers.

If your adjusted gross income (AGI) for 2012 was more than $150,000 ($75,000 if your 2013 filing status is married filing separately), substitute 110% for 100% in (2) above.

Penalty figured separately for each required payment.   The penalty is figured separately for each installment due date. Therefore, you may owe the penalty for an earlier due date even if you paid enough tax later to make up the underpayment. This is true even if you are due a refund when you file your tax return. However, you may be able to reduce or eliminate the penalty by using the annualized income installment method. For details, see the Schedule AI instructions later.

Return.   In these instructions, “return” refers to your original return. However, an amended return is considered the original return if it is filed by the due date (including extensions) of the original return. Also, a joint return that replaces previously filed separate returns is considered the original return.

Exceptions to the Penalty

You will not have to pay the penalty if either of the following applies.

  • You had no tax liability for 2012, you were a U.S. citizen or resident alien for the entire year (or an estate of a domestic decedent or a domestic trust), and your 2012 tax return was (or would have been had you been required to file) for a full 12 months.

  • The total tax shown on your 2013 return minus the amount of tax you paid through withholding is less than $1,000. To determine whether the total tax is less than $1,000, complete Part 1, lines 1 through 7.

Estates and trusts.   No penalty applies to either of the following.
  • A decedent's estate for any tax year ending before the date that is 2 years after the decedent's death.

  • A trust that was treated as owned by the decedent if the trust will receive the residue of the decedent's estate under the will (or if no will is admitted to probate, the trust primarily responsible for paying debts, taxes, and expenses of administration) for any tax year ending before the date that is 2 years after the decedent's death.

Farmers and fishermen.   If you meet both tests 1 and 2 below, you do not owe a penalty for underpaying estimated tax.
  1. Your gross income from farming or fishing is at least two-thirds of your annual gross income from all sources for 2012 or 2013.

  2. You filed Form 1040 or 1041 and paid the entire tax due by March 3, 2014.

  See chapter 2 of Pub. 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, for the definition of gross income from farming and fishing.

  If you meet test 1 but not test 2, use Form 2210-F, Underpayment of Estimated Tax by Farmers and Fishermen, to see if you owe a penalty. If you do not meet test 1, use Form 2210.

Waiver of Penalty

If you have an underpayment, all or part of the penalty for that underpayment will be waived if the IRS determines that:

  • In 2012 or 2013, you retired after reaching age 62 or became disabled, and your underpayment was due to reasonable cause, or

  • The underpayment was due to a casualty, disaster, or other unusual circumstance, and it would be inequitable to impose the penalty. For federally declared disaster areas, see Federally declared disaster, later.

To request either of the above waivers, do the following.

  1. Check box A or box B in Part II.

    1. If you checked box A, complete only page 1 of Form 2210 and attach it to your tax return (you are not required to figure the amount of penalty to be waived).

    2. If you checked box B, complete Form 2210 through line 16 (or if you use the regular method, line 26 plus the Penalty Worksheet, later) without regard to the waiver. Enter the amount you want waived in parentheses on the dotted line next to line 17(line 27 for the regular method). Subtract this amount from the total penalty you figured without regard to the waiver, and enter the result on line 17 (line 27 for the regular method).

  2. Attach Form 2210 and a statement to your return explaining the reasons you were unable to meet the estimated tax requirements and the time period for which you are requesting a waiver.

  3. If you are requesting a waiver due to retirement or disability, attach documentation that shows your retirement date (and your age on that date) or the date you became disabled.

  4. If you are requesting a waiver due to a casualty, disaster (other than a federally declared disaster as discussed next), or other unusual circumstance, attach documentation such as copies of police and insurance company reports.

The IRS will review the information you provide and decide whether to grant your request for a waiver.

Federally declared disaster.   Certain estimated tax payment deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in a federally declared disaster area are postponed for a period during and after the disaster. During the processing of your tax return, the IRS automatically identifies taxpayers located in a covered disaster area (by county or parish) and applies the appropriate penalty relief. Do not file Form 2210 if your underpayment was due to a federally declared disaster. If you still owe a penalty after the automatic waiver is applied, the IRS will send you a bill.

  An individual or a fiduciary for an estate or trust not in a covered disaster area but whose books, records, or tax professionals' offices are in a covered area is also entitled to relief. Also eligible are relief workers affiliated with a recognized government or charitable organization assisting in the relief activities in a covered disaster area. If you meet either of these eligibility requirements, you must call the IRS disaster hotline at 1-866-562-5227 and identify yourself as eligible for this relief.

  Details on the applicable disaster postponement period can be found at IRS.gov. Enter "disaster relief" in the search box, then select “Tax Relief in Disaster Situations.” Select the federally declared disaster that affected you.

Additional Information

See Pub. 505, chapter 4, for more details.

For guidance on figuring estimated taxes for trusts and certain estates, see Notice 87-32, 1987-1 C.B. 477.


More Online Instructions