Does the tax man keep your money if you overpay?
December 9, 2011 6:41 AM   Subscribe

If you pay estimated taxes and then end up not owing those taxes, do you get them back?

I made quarterly estimated payments based on previous tax years, but then the situation changed and I will not owe taxes. Do I get the estimated payments back or do they stay on some sort of account with the tax department?
posted by doomtop to Work & Money (7 answers total)
Best answer: Yes. When you file your tax return, you'll figure out how much you owed and subtract what you already paid and get either a balance due or a refund.
posted by Jahaza at 6:44 AM on December 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Are these US Federal Income Tax estimated payments? If so, you get them back when you file your return (you will have to file). You may then choose to apply the refund to future tax bills, in which case it will stay on account, or to receive a payment for it.
posted by brianogilvie at 6:44 AM on December 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You'll get a refund when you file your return.
posted by valkyryn at 6:50 AM on December 9, 2011

Best answer: As has been said, it works just like when taxes are deducted from your paychecks in a regular job: if you overpaid over the course of the year, you'll get a refund when you submit your 1040.

(Assuming this is all in the U.S., of course.)
posted by Johnny Assay at 6:51 AM on December 9, 2011

Best answer: You also have the option of applying the overage to next year's estimates.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:08 AM on December 9, 2011

Best answer: You should also note that you are under no obligation to continue to make estimated tax payments that you know will be in excess of your tax burden for the year. You might as well skip the January payment, because even though Uncle Sam will return the money you overpaid, he won't be paying you any interest.
posted by Lame_username at 7:09 AM on December 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the quick answers. It makes sense and should have been obvious.
posted by doomtop at 9:59 AM on December 9, 2011

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