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After you've determined the dollar amount of all the tax that you owe, you must subtract the amounts of the payments you've made during the year.
This includes both tax that was withheld on a paycheck, as shown in Box 2 of any W-2 forms you (or your spouse, if filing jointly) received, and any estimated tax payments you made during the year.
Refundable tax credits are treated as if they were payments that you made. Therefore, you will add to your tax payments your government retiree credit and the refundable 40 percent of the American Opportunity credit. If you had an earned income credit (EIC) amount for 2011, or if you claimed the additional child credit, these, too, will be added to your other tax payments. In effect, the credit will increase the refund you get (or at least reduce your tax bill).
If you are filing after April 15th because you requested an extension on Form 4868, include any amount you sent in with that form on Line 68 of Form 1040. If you overpaid your Social Security tax, report the overpaid amount on Line 69. If you have any credit on Form 2439, Notice to Shareholder of Undistributed Long-Term Capital Gains, check the appropriate boxes and include the amounts on line 71. If you need to file Form 4136, Credit for Federal Tax Paid on Fuels, include those amounts on Line 70 since they are treated as tax payments.