How will I know if I need to make an estimated payment?
If you are required to file a tax return and your Virginia income tax liability, after subtracting income tax withheld and any allowable credits, is expected to be more than $150, then you must make estimated tax payments or have additional income tax withheld throughout the year from your wages or other income.
How to make an estimated payment
We offer multiple options to pay estimated taxes.
- Individual online services account. If you don't have an account, enroll here. You'll need a copy of your most recently filed Virginia tax return to enroll.
- 760ES eForm. No login or password is required. Make sure you choose the correct voucher number.
- ACH credit. Pay by ACH credit and initiate sending payments from your bank account to Virginia Tax's bank account. See our Electronic Payment Guide for details on requirements and set-up with financial institutions, which may include fees.
See all options to file and pay estimated taxes.
Electronic filing requirement
You must submit all of your income tax payments electronically if:
- Any installment payment of estimated tax exceeds $7,500 or
- Any payment made for an extension of time to file exceeds $7,500 or
- The total income tax due for the year exceeds $30,000.
If any of the thresholds above apply to you, all future income tax payments must be made electronically. This includes all payments for estimated taxes, extensions of time to file, and any other amounts due when a return is filed.
Beginning July 1, 2021, the requirement to pay electronically will apply if:
- Any installment payment of estimated tax exceeds $2,500 or
- Any payment made for an extension of time to file exceeds $2,500 or
- The total income tax due for the year exceeds $10,000.
How to estimate
You must pay at least 90% of your tax liability during the year by having income tax withheld and/or making timely payments of estimated tax. An estimated payment worksheet is available through your individual online services account to help you determine your estimated tax liability and how many payments you should make. Log in and select "Make an Estimated Payment."
Farmers, fishermen and merchant seamen
Farmers, fishermen and merchant seamen who receive 2/3 of their estimated Virginia gross income from self-employed farming or fishing have special filing requirements, which allow them to make fewer payments. If you meet the qualifications of a farmer, fisherman or merchant seaman, you only need to file an estimated payment (Voucher 4) by Jan. 15. If you file your income tax return on or before March 1 and pay the entire tax at that time, you are not required to file estimated tax payments for that tax year.
Changes in income or exemptions
If your expected Virginia adjusted gross income changes during the year, re-compute your estimated tax to determine how much your remaining payments should increase or decrease.
A change in income, deductions or exemptions may require you to file an estimated payment later in the year. If you file your state income tax return and pay the balance of tax due in full by March 1, you are not required to make the estimated tax payment that would normally be due on Jan. 15.
If you file your return after March 1 without making the January payment, or if you have not paid the proper amount of estimated tax on any earlier due date, you may be liable for an additional charge for underpayment of estimated tax.
Underpayment of estimated income tax
An addition to tax is imposed by law if at least 90% (66 2/3% if you are a farmer, fisherman, or merchant seaman) of your total tax liability is not paid throughout the year by timely withholding and/or installments of estimated tax except in certain situations. The addition to tax does not apply if each required installment is paid on time and meets one of the following exceptions:
- Is at least 90% (66 2/3% for farmers, fishermen or merchant seamen) of amount due based on annualized income
- Is at least 90% (66 2/3% for farmers, fishermen or merchant seamen) of amount due based on the actual taxable income;
- Is based on a tax computed by using your income for the preceding taxable year and the current year's tax rates and exemptions;
- Is equal to or exceeds the prior year's tax liability for each installment period and the prior year return was for a full year and reflected an income tax liability; or
- The sum of all installment underpayments for the taxable year is $150 or less
If you do not qualify for an exception, your underpayment computation will be based on 90% of the current year's income tax liability or 100% of your liability for the preceding year, whichever is less. The addition to tax is computed on Form 760C (or Form 760F for farmers, fishermen and merchant seamen).
Joint estimated tax payments
A married couple may file a joint Form 760ES unless:
- They are legally separated or divorced
- They have different taxable years or
- One is a nonresident of this state (unless both are required to file a Virginia return)
If you file a joint Form 760ES, but do not file a joint income tax return, the estimated tax may be treated as the estimated tax of either spouse, or may be divided between both spouses as mutually agreed. Attach a statement to the front of each spouse's tax return that specifies the amount claimed by each spouse.