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Quicken's tax planner uses the data and transactions you've entered into quicken to help you estimate and analyze your tax situation for the current year. It works best, if you can import data from TurboTax, tax planning software. Note that the tax planner tool, is not a substitute for tax return preparation software like TurboTax. Rather, it's a way of estimating your tax owed, or the size of your refund, based on the information you've entered into the Quicken software. Quicken can base your tax estimate on transactions you've entered or have scheduled or numbers you estimate.
It can also pull data, from a tax return created with another software product from Intuit, TurboTax. You can enter all of the data by hand. But that takes a long time. If you use TurboTax, I'd recommend importing the data to the Tax Planner from your previous year's tax return in TurboTax, to save a lot of data entry time. You should import your previous year's TurboTax data file prior to using the Tax Planner. Let me show you how to do that. To import a TurboTax file. Select File > File Import, and select >TurboTax File.
Locate the TurboTax file, on your computer and click okay. You'll need to make sure that you've categorized all your transactions for the tax year you're estimating, in order to get an accurate estimate from Quicken. Before you start entering data into the Tax Planner, you'll need to assemble all of your tax related information. Make sure you have your income records, your itemized deductions and tax credits, any relevant tax publications and your previous tax returns easily accessible. Let's walk through this steps for getting started with the Tax Planner tool. Start by clicking the Planning tab.
Now click the Tax Center tab. The first thing you want to do, is click the Show Tax Planner button. This is where you're going to need to do a lot of data entry for each of these sections. It's a lot like filling out tax form. If you've imported a TurboTax file, data will appear in all these fields, and you can just revise based on this year's data. Use the Next button, or click on the left-hand menu, to go through and fill out this information. Continue to click to the menu and enter as much data as you can. The tax planner is going to be able to estimate more accurately, if you input as much current data as possible.
When you're done entering the data, you'll see the projected text screen. If any line has a red flag to it, it means you'll only need to enter more data for this line to get an accurate estimate. There is a handy tax calendar here in the middle, that shows due dates for things like quarterly estimated taxes and extension dates. You can also setup alerts here. One of the best features here is the tax related expenses area. You can assign tax categories in your registers, and keep track of tax related expenses here. For instance, you may want to add a category for business expenses that you will deduct here.
Finally, the tax planner shows you your taxable income from your paychecks here. Note that Quicken by default tracks your net pay, the amount you deposit. If you want to track your gross pay, you can set that up under the Options button here. To see a printable tax report, click Show Tax Summary Report in the bottom-left corner of the window. Select the date range you'd like to see and click Print to print the report. The text planner is a robust tool, but it can take a lot of time if you're entering data manually. Ideally, use TurboTax and import last year's data so that your data entry time is minimized.
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