I sold some stock this year and made gains that will require me to pay about $2000 in tax. This is the first time I’ve had capital gains like this. My question is if I need to pay that before April 15. I think the answer is no.
That is my understanding, too. I’m not aware of any exceptions to the rule that if you’ve paid 100% of your prior year’s tax liability by the end of the year, you’re exempt from any penalties. The only thing I’d be unclear on is if there are any quarterly targets for your payments under that rule. When in the year did you close the sale on which you’re owing the capital gains tax?
Also, are you certain that it’ll be the case that you’ve covered your entire 2014 tax liability?
Right, as long as you make a reasonable effort at estimating and paying estimated taxes (at least 90% of your actual 2015 liability, or at least 100% of your 2014 liability), you’re okay and won’t owe penalties. Estimated taxes for quarterly targets only comes into play if you fail the “90% of 2015/100% of 2014” check and potentially owe penalties. In that case, you would then break down your quarterly liabilities and payments for purposes of calculating any potential penalties.
If your AGI was over $150,000 in 2014 ($75,000 for Married filing separately), then you need to have 110% withheld/paid in installments. If it was, it still sounds like you’d be covered if you missed an entire quarter of year of work.