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Estimated Taxes AFTER filing a return

Hello. I've already filed my 2021 return and am only now realizing I may need to make estimated taxes (freelance income I had not anticipated). Is it possible to go back into TurboTax (I'm using the desktop version) and get help estimating taxes for next year?


If so, how would I do that? The only instructions I've seen say that "with the return open, search for '1040-es,'" but when I do that, all that comes up is help navigating my main 1040 form. 


Thank you.

9 Replies

Estimated Taxes AFTER filing a return

@winnmiska in the desktop version, go into Forms View.  Search for the "what if" worksheet - that will permit you to estimate 2022 taxes 

Estimated Taxes AFTER filing a return

Sure I do it all the time.  Go to….

Federal Taxes or Personal (Deskop H&B)

Other Tax Situations

Other Tax Forms

Form W-4 and Estimated Taxes - Click the Start or Update button


And you can switch to Forms and open the Estimated Tax Payments Options sheet.  You can even select to print the estimates with just your personal info and no amounts.  You  can play with and tweak the amounts.  You can open the individual 1040ES forms and override the amounts.  

Estimated Taxes AFTER filing a return

To just estimate the remaining quarters put in that you paid $1 for the missed quarters so it will only calculate the remaining quarters.


The 1040ES quarterly estimates are due April 18  June 15, Sept 15 and Jan 17, 2023.  Your state will also have their own estimate forms.


Here are the blank Estimates and instructions (the actual 1040ES forms are at the very bottom so scroll way down)



You can pay directly on the IRS website https://www.irs.gov/payments

Be sure to pick the right kind of payment and year.....2022 Estimate

Estimated Taxes AFTER filing a return

thank you. 


Would you mind telling me how exactly I should search for the form. I clicked on the "open forms" button and put "what if" in the search box, but nothing comes up. 

Estimated Taxes AFTER filing a return

If you are using the Desktop Software there is a What-if worksheet. Go to Forms Mode, click Forms in the upper right (left for Mac). Then click Open Forms box in the top of the column on the left. Open the US listing of forms and towards the bottom find the What-if worksheet.  Or you can copy your file with another name and test in the copy.  Go to FILE-SAVE AS.


But I don't think  the What-If worksheet will help you prepare the estimates.

Estimated Taxes AFTER filing a return

Thank you, so helpful. 


In my case, it's weird because I have w-2 income and then also freelance self-employment income. I've never made enough to need to pay estimated taxes, but I will need to this year. However, I got a refund last year, so it looks like perhaps I won't need to pay estimated taxes but for this year at least can simply put the funds aside and pay them with the 2022 return -- and then re-evaluate for 2023. Is that right?

Estimated Taxes AFTER filing a return

Maybe or maybe not.  Will you still have the W2 income?  You can increase the W2 withholding to cover any self employment tax.  If you owe too much on your tax return you may have to pay a penalty for not paying in enough evenly during the year. 


Self Employment tax (Scheduled SE) is generated if a person has $400 or more of net profit from self-employment. You pay 15.3% SE tax on 92.35% of your Net Profit (If it is greater than $400). The 15.3% self employed SE Tax is to pay both the employer part and employee part of Social Security and Medicare (FICA). So you get social security credit for it when you retire.


Estimated Taxes AFTER filing a return

ah, I was misreading this exception below as if "tax liability" was the same as "tax due" (and thought since I had a refund that meant I had no tax liability) -- but I've now learned it's not. Thank you.


"Exception. You don’t have to pay estimated tax for 2022 if you were a U.S. citizen or resident alien for all of 2021 and you had no tax liability for the full 12-month 2021 tax year. You had no tax liability for 2021 if your total tax was zero or you didn’t have to file an income tax return."



Estimated Taxes AFTER filing a return

This is my mini version of  a tutorial  that should be in the downloaded program: 



What is Forms Mode?

Forms Mode lets you view and make changes to your tax forms "behind the scenes."

If you're adventurous, you can even prepare your return in Forms Mode, but we don't recommend it. You may miss obscure credits and deductions you qualify for, and you may forget to report things that will come back and haunt you later.

Forms Mode is exclusively available in the TurboTax CD/Download software. It is not available in TurboTax Online.


Related Information:


If you want to play around with different figures and tax scenarios without affecting your original return you can ….

  • >>>In the TurboTax CD/Download software by creating a test copy
  • 1.  Open your return in TurboTax. 
  • 2.  From the File menu, choose Save As. 
  • 3.  Give the copy a new name to distinguish it from the original (for example, by adding "Test" or "Example" to the file name). 
  • 4. Click  Save. You are now safely working in the test copy and anything you do here will not affect the original. 
  •  https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/1900642-how-to-make-a-test-copy-of-your-return


  • >>  use the WHAT IF tool: 
  • - Click Forms Icon (upper right of screen) or Ctrl 2 (forms view) 
  • - Click on the Open Form Icon 
  • - In the “Type a form name.” area type What-If (with the dash), click on the name of the worksheet - click on Open Form 
  • - You will see the worksheet on the right side of the screen; enter the information right into the form 
  • - To get back to interview mode - click on the Step-by-Step Icon (upper right of screen) or Ctrl 1


Once you have filed successfully … you can shut off the auto updater function and then save the return &  .taxfile.


It's always a good idea to make a backup copy of your tax data file, in case your original gets lost or corrupted. Here's how:

  1. From the File menu in the upper-left corner of TurboTax, choose Save As (Windows) or Save (Mac).
  2. Browse to where you want to save your backup.
    • Tip: If you're saving to a portable device, save it to your computer first to prevent data corruption. Then, after completing Step 4, copy or move the backup file to your device.
  3. In the File name field, enter a name that will distinguish it from the original tax file (for example, add "Backup" or "Copy" to the file name)
  4. Click Save and then close TurboTax.
  5. Restart TurboTax and open the backup copy to make sure it's not corrupted. If you get an error, delete the backup and repeat these steps.

If you make changes to your original tax return file, repeat these steps to ensure your original and backup copies are in-synch.

Related Information:                             


AND save it as a PDF so you have access to a copy even if you don’t have the program still installed and operational :

AND protect the files :


*** Other clues to the downloaded program ***


In the forms mode ... double click  or right click on a box on a form to data source it ... sadly it doesn't work on all boxes. 


What's the meaning of all the different colors in Forms Mode?

When you look at an onscreen tax form using Forms Mode, you might wonder why one figure is blue and the one next to it is red or black.

These colors indicate the source of that data.




You entered this data, either in the interview or Forms Mode.


The program entered this data or calculated this amount.


This data has either been overridden or is invalid (for example, a ZIP code that doesn't exist).

Red italics

You marked this amount as estimated.

Black italics

The program calculated this amount from an amount you marked as estimated.


This information has supporting details.


This data was transferred over from last year.


This data was imported from Quicken or QuickBooks.

Yellow fields (Windows)

Yellow fields allow user input. Anything you enter here shows up in blue.




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