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“I’m not aware of any formula that will tell me that ‘x’ amount of unexpected income will leave me owing more than $1000 tax on December 31st, and that I therefore need to pay estimated taxes during the quarter I received that income as a precaution.”
You can estimate your taxes w/ tax software or a tax calculator. Unexpected income should be input there and the new result will tell you if you will have a shortage or not. Hopefully the unexpected income comes early enough that you have time for the estimated tax payment.