Over the years, I've noticed that once we get closer to the due date, that it forces us to mail in the return. Popped up this evening as I have a client that owes $36 due to a a lot of capital gains. Seems rather odd that the state wants a paper return where is adding to the amount due requires alot less resources.
Yeah, I agree, it is quite annoying.
If I remember correctly, it is just for underpayments when uneven Estimated Tax were paid (probably the 'regular'/annualized method on the bottom of the form). Or something like that.
If the penalty is only a couple of dollars or so, I 'cheat' and change the numbers to get rid of the penalty (and tell the client they could get a bill in the mail). But I wouldn't do that for a penalty that large.