I wasn't sure if this belongs in here or the tax section since it's specifically intend to answer the question of whether index futures gains (1256 gains) require quarterly tax payments, assuming the person has no other income (no cap gains of any kind from non-index futures trading, no work income, no 1099's, etc), and they have made no trader status election changes, owe no tax from the previous year, etc. Just a base case with gains. I know all of my futures trades are always reported as a single P/L at year-end, but no article I've found makes it clear that if you open/close an index futures trade in a given quarter, and that trade nets enough income to push you over the threshold of 1K tax due for the year, that you must make a quarterly estimated tax payment. It seems like they suggest (but never clearly state) that all 1256 gains are only taxable at year-end, even if you had a big gain in Q1 and zero for the rest of the year. Does the IRS treat it like all of those gains only occurred in Q4/year-end for tax purposes? For the past few years I was always working a full time job so I just had my employer deduct a bunch of tax from my paycheck to push me past the requirements for having to make estimated tax payments (I always payed more than 90% of the previous year's tax). But this year I left work in January to take time off and I still trade, and thankfully I have taxable gains, so it's a new problem I need to solve. Any ideas? Thanks.