Estimated tax is the method used to pay tax on income that is not subject to withholding. This includes income from self-employment, interest, dividends, alimony, rent, gains from the sale of assets, prizes and awards. If you are filing as a sole proprietor, partner, S corporation shareholder and/or a self-employed individual, you should use Form 1040-ES to figure and pay your estimated tax. For additional information on filing for a sole proprietor, partners, and/or S corporation shareholder, refer to Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax.If you are filing as a corporation you should use Form 1120-W, Estimated Tax for Corporations , to figure the estimated tax. You must deposit the payments. For additional information on filing for a corporation, refer to Publication 542, Corporations. If you are filing as a sole proprietor, partner, S corporation shareholder, and/or a self-employed individual, you generally have to make estimated tax payments if you expect to owe tax of $1,000 or more when you file your return.If you are filing as a corporation you generally have to make estimated tax payments for your corporation if you expect it to owe tax of $500 or more when you file its return.HOWEVER, You do not have to pay estimated tax for the current year if you had no tax liability for the prior year;y ou were a U.S. citizen or resident for the whole year;y our prior tax year covered a 12 month period
California follows the IRS standards for estimated payments. If you will owe $500 or more in tax for the current year, you are required to make 90% of the tax due, over quarterly payments on Form 540ES.. It has to be at least 100% of the previous year, even if you think you won't make as much in the current year.