Wisconsin Form 1-ES - Estimated Tax Voucher Instructions

Who Must Pay Estimated Tax

Tax (including the Wisconsin alternative minimum tax and recycling surcharge) is required to be paid on income as it is earned or constructively received. Withholding tax and estimated tax are the two methods used to make those required tax payments. Generally, if you work for wages, you have tax withheld from your wages to prepay any tax which will be computed on your income tax return for the year. If you have income from which tax is not withheld (for example, interest, dividends, unemployment compensation, etc.), you must pay estimated tax to prepay any tax which will be computed on your income tax return for the year.

You must pay Wisconsin estimated tax for 2010 if you expect to owe, after subtracting your withholding and credits, at least $200 in tax for 2010 and you expect your withholding to be less than the smallest of:

  • 90% of the tax (including alternative minimum tax and the recycling surcharge) shown on your 2010 income tax return.
  • 100% of the tax (including alternative minimum tax and recycling surcharge) shown on your 2009 income tax return assuming the return covered 12 months. This does not apply to trusts or estates that have 2010 taxable income of $20,000 or more. If your 2009 return was adjusted by the department or you filed an amended return, use the tax from the latest adjusted or amended return.
  • 90% of the tax shown on your 2010 income tax return, computed by annualizing your taxable income and alternative minimum taxable income. (You may use Wisconsin Schedule U, Part IV, as a worksheet to annualize income.)

Full-year residents, part-year residents, nonresidents, trusts, and estates are subject to the estimated tax requirement. (Note: Trusts subject to tax on unrelated business income should file on Form 4-ES.)

You do not have to pay estimated tax if you were a full-year resident of Wisconsin for 2009 and you had no tax liability for that 12-month period. Estates and grantor trusts which are funded on account of a decedent's death are only required to make estimated tax payments for any tax year ending two or more years after the decedent's death.

You and your spouse may pay estimated tax either jointly or separately.

If joint payments are made, you and your spouse may still file separate income tax returns for 2010. The estimated tax payments may be divided between you and your spouse in any manner you choose. If separate payments are made, you and your spouse may file a joint income tax return for 2010 and apply the separate estimated tax payments to the joint tax liability. However, no part of the separate estimated tax payments may be applied to a separate tax liability of the other spouse.

When to PayYour Estimated Tax

Generally, you must make your first estimated tax payment by April 15, 2010. You may pay all your estimated tax at that time or in four equal installments on or before April 15, 2010, June 15, 2010, September 15, 2010, and January 18, 2011. Exceptions to this general rule are as follows:

  1. Other payment dates..In some cases such as an increase in income, you may have to make your first estimated tax payment after April 15, 2010. The payment dates are then as follows:
  2. If the requirement to pay estimated tax is met after:
    Payment date is:
    Of the estimated tax due, pay:
    March 31 and before June 1
    June 15, 2010
    1/2
    May 31 and before Sept. 1.
    Sept. 15, 2010
    3/4
    August 31 ..
    Jan. 18, 2011
    all
    Any remaining payments should be 1/4 of your required annual payment.
  3. Your return as a payment. If you file your 2010 income tax return by January 31, 2011, and pay the entire balance due, you do not have to make your last payment of estimated tax due on January 18, 2011.
  4. Farmers and fishers. If at least two-thirds of your gross income (joint gross income, if applicable) for 2009 or 2010 is from farming or fishing, you may:
    • pay your 2010 estimated tax in full by January 18, 2011; or
    • file your 2010 income tax return on or before March 1, 2011, and pay the total tax due. In this case, you need not make estimated tax payments for 2010.
  5. Fiscal year. If your return is filed on a fiscal year basis, your due dates are the 15th day of the 4th, 6th, and 9th months of your current fiscal year, and the 1st month of the following fiscal year. (Note: If any due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, use the next business day.)

How to Use Form 1-ES

  1. If you have a preprinted voucher, make any corrections necessary to your name and address by lining out the incorrect information on the estimated tax vouchers and printing in the correct information. To obtain personalized Form 1-ES vouchers, visit the department's website at www.revenue.wi.gov/html/10forms.html or call (608) 266-1961.
  2. Complete the “2010 Estimated Income Tax Worksheet” on the reverse side of these instructions. Use your 2009 tax return as a guide, but be sure to consider any law changes for 2010. Law changes are published in the Wisconsin Tax Bulletin, which is available on the Internet at: www.revenue.wi.gov.
  3. Fill in the amount from line 14 of the worksheet on the “Amount of Payment” line on Form 1-ES.
  4. Enclose, but do not staple or attach, your check or money order with Form 1-ES. Make your remittance payable to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue and mail to the address shown on Form 1-ES. To pay by credit card, call 1-800-2PAY-TAX (1-800-272-9829) or visit www.officialpayments.com. There will be a 2.5% fee charged for this service.

If you need help, contact our Customer Service Bureau at (608) 266-2772 or any Department of Revenue office.

How to Amend Your Estimated Tax Payments

If you have a substantial increase or decrease in your estimated tax liability, your estimated tax payments should be amended.

  1. Recompute your estimated tax liability on the “2010 Estimated Income Tax Worksheet.” Include any estimated tax payments already made for 2010 on line 10 of the worksheet.
  2. Determine the amount of each remaining installment due as follows:
    • If all 4 installments are being amended, fill in 1/4 of line 11 of the worksheet on each payment voucher.
    • If 3 installments are being amended, fill in 1/2 of line 11 on the first amended voucher and 1/4 of line 11 on each of the last two vouchers.
    • If 2 installments are being amended, fill in 3/4 of line 11 on the first amended voucher and 1/4 of line 11 on the last installment voucher.
    • If only the last installment is being amended, fill in all of line 11 on the voucher filed.

Interest Charge for Failure to Pay Estimated Tax

If you are required to pay estimated tax and you do not, or you underpay any installment, you are subject to interest on the underpayment amount when you file your 2010 return. Wisconsin Schedule U is used to compute the interest due. The Schedule U instructions provide information on exceptions to the interest charge.