How does a refund count ?

It’s often difficult for me to estimate my taxes because of all the moving parts. For the first year in a long time, I am getting a refund. If I have the refund count toward my 2022 taxes, is it considered a withholding ? estimated tax payment ? What happens if I get an extension and wait until October to file ?


According to… (p2):

What are the options for an overpayment?
Taxpayers can choose to:
• Apply any portion of their overpayment to the following tax year
• Receive all or part of their refund using direct deposit
• Receive all or part of their refund as a check
• Purchase Series I Savings Bonds

As indicated further down the page, with the first option one could apply all or a portion of the overpayment to next year’s estimated tax.

I am considering doing that for my 2021 return, especially considering the unknowns around how long it will take the IRS to process my return and refund. It seems like I might be waiting longer for the refund payment than when I’d need to submit estimated tax payments.


I find it easiest to credit refund to next years estimated taxes. Otherwise you can have to pay estimated taxes before refund from last year arrives.

This way you are not affected by delays at the irs. Eventually the paperwork catches up.