The Turbotax Help area seems to reflect that:
Exception. You do not have to pay estimated tax for 2009 if you were a U.S. citizen or resident alien for all of 2008 and you had no tax liability for the full 12-month 2008 tax year. You had no tax liability for 2008 if your total tax was zero or you did not have to file an income tax return.
Do I need to pay estimated taxes?
That depends on your situation. The rule is that you must pay your taxes as you go.
If at filing time, you have not paid enough income taxes through withholding or quarterly estimated payments, you may have to pay a penalty for underpayment.
To determine whether you need to make quarterly estimates, answer these questions:
1.Do you expect to owe less than $1,000 in taxes for 2008 after subtracting your federal income tax withholding from the total amount of tax you expect to owe? If so, you're safe—you don't need to make estimated tax payments.
2.Do you expect your federal income tax withholding (plus any estimated taxes paid on time) to amount to at least 90% of the tax that you will owe for 2008? If so, then you're in the clear, and you don't need to make estimated tax payments.
3.Do you expect that your income tax withholding will be at least 100 percent of the tax on your 2007 return? Or, if your adjusted gross income (Form 1040, line 37) on your 2007 tax return was over $150,000 ($75,000 if you're married and file separately in 2008), do you expect that your income tax withholding will be at least 110% of the tax you owed on for 2007? If so, then you're not required to make estimated tax payments.
If you answered "no" to all of these questions, you must make estimated tax payments with Form 1040-ES. To avoid a penalty, your total tax payments (estimated taxes plus withholding) during 2008 must satisfy one of the requirements we just covered.
Since I did not work at all and had no income in 2006, 2007, and 2008 (full-time student), and did not file tax refunds or anything like that... according to these instructions... I don't need to worry about any quarterly estimated tax payments this year? I didn't start getting any income until February 2009.
I asked some friends about it, but understandably, I've gotten mixed responses since everyone's situation is different. One of my friends mentioned that he filled out both a 540ES (residents of California) and a 1040ES and sent two seperate checks, wtf? I apologize for sounding like a total newb, but I just want to be 100% sure as to not blindly write checks, and to not get fined for failing to pay uncle sam on time either.