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Can You Really Prepay Your Taxes?

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Illustration for article titled Can You Really Prepay Your Taxes?

Photo: Devi Bones (Shutterstock)

In the third presidential debate, Donald Trump shrugged off his $750 tax payment from 2016 by saying he paid “millions and millions of dollars” in taxes “in advance.” And that $750? Merely a “filing fee.” Fact-check of that specific claim aside, can you actually prepay your federal income taxes? Yes, you can—but you probably wouldn’t in the way Trump is suggesting.

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When you’re employed and classified as an employee (not as an independent contractor), your employer withholds taxes from each paycheck, which go toward your personal tax bill at the end of the year. How much depends on the elections you make on your W-2 form.

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If you’re self-employed or work as an independent contractor on a Form 1099, there’s no employer to withhold payroll taxes, so you have to do it yourself through estimated tax payments. As an individual, you must make estimated lump-sum payments throughout the year if you expect to owe $1,000 or more in taxes. Corporations must do the same if they will owe more than $500.

Estimated taxes are due on a quarterly basis (i.e., four times per year, but at uneven intervals). If you make enough in a quarter to owe taxes, you must make an estimated tax payment for that quarter or risk a penalty. In a sense, this is a prepayment, and you could—in theory—get ahead on your total bill by paying more. Use IRS Form 1040-ES to calculate estimated payments.

You can also use estimated payments as a W-2 employee if you think you’ll owe a ton when tax season rolls around. It’s complicated, but there are penalties if you undershoot your withholding by a certain amount.

The only other “prepayment” you might make is applying your refund to what you’ll owe next year. This head start may be useful if you’re self-employed and have difficulty setting aside taxes over time.

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So you can “prepay” your taxes—but you wouldn’t just cut the IRS a check for millions without knowing that you owe millions. Not only is that not how tax payments work, but you’re also loaning the government money, interest-free, that you may not actually owe.

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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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Apple will replace AirPods Pro for free with faulty noise cancellation, static or crackling

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Today, exactly one year after Apple first launched the AirPods Pro — and thus the same day the very first AirPods Pro owners will see their one-year warranties expire — Apple has launched a repair program that offers free repairs or replacements for another whole year if your AirPods Pro experience issues with noise cancellation or static.

Specifically, Apple will fix:

Crackling or static sounds that increase in loud environments, with exercise or while talking on the phone

Active Noise Cancellation not working as expected, such as a loss of bass sound, or an increase in background sounds, such as street or airplane noise

Apple says only a “small percentage of AirPods Pro” are affected by the issues, but it apparently wasn’t just an early batch — Apple says affected units were manufactured “before October 2020,” meaning every AirPods Pro ever made might be eligible. That’s quite a recall if so. Apple says it will repair faulty AirPods Pro for two years after you first buy them.

We’ve heard complaints about degraded noise cancellation before, and at least one Verge editor has replaced their AirPods Pro under warranty. It’s nice to hear that Apple isn’t just cutting buyers off as soon as that warranty expires.

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This 55″ 4K TCL Smart TV Hangs on Your Wall for $200

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

TCL 55″ S434 4K Smart TV | $200 | Best Buy

Best Buy has an insane deal going for a brand new 55″ 4K TCL smart TV. It’s the S434, which is pretty baseline for TCL’s lineup, but at just $200, there’s little to complain about. TCL’s panels are plenty sharp and accurate, and with this set, you’ll get HDR10 compliance for enhanced color and brightness in supported games and video content. This model has Android TV onboard for all your app needs, and with an included voice remote, all your favorite content is just a shout away with the help of Google Assistant.

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