Is it possible to not pay an income tax January to September, then full it all in the last 3 months of the year to avoid underpayment penalty?

So my take home is very high first 9 months, and closer to zero in the latter 3 months?

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Not legal, no. But you can always do the math to see if it’s worth the penalty to you. It’s not like you’ll go to jail for not paying the first nine months.

However, if you work for a company, you have to provide proof that they don’t have to withhold in order to get them to stop. They are required to withhold a certain amount.


I don’t think your payroll department is going to go along with that plan


Technically, tax withheld from w-2 is considered as withheld evenly throughout the year no matter when it is actually withheld so adjusting tax withholding via employer is the way to do it but you need to have sufficient wages near the end of the year to do it.


I change my withholding electronically via our HR software so I don’t convince anyone. If I dropped my withholding to $0 I would have to attest that I am not subject to tax however I would drop the withholding very low.

You can severely undercontribute in the case where your income has gone up dramatically in the current year. I believe to avoid a penalty you have to be paying at least 90% of your taxes from previous year. So in theory, if you got a huge raise going into in a new calendar year, you could actually lower your withholding a little from year before and then owe a bunch at end of year. Would consult a cpa


No - underpayment penalty is determined quarterly


Hello, IRS.... I'd like to report a crime.


Your payroll withholding is as a convenience for employees to not have to pay a large lump sum of taxes when taxes are due on April 15th of the following year.

Employers are REQUIRED to withhold minimum withholding amounts or they face a penalty. So, no.

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