Getting the Most Out of Quicken’s Tax Reporting

Quicken can help you with your taxes in many ways by providing reporting for tax-related income and expenses. Along with Quicken‘s considerable range of pre-set tax reports, you can create a custom report for any tax schedule.

For customers on our Windows platform, Quicken assists at every level, adding built-in features for each tier.

In Quicken Starter, you can view your Tax Schedule and Tax Summary.Quicken Deluxe adds a report on capital gains and losses.At the Quicken Premier level, reporting extends to Schedule A: Itemized Deductions, Schedule B: Interest and Dividends, Schedule D: Capital Gains and Losses, and Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR).Customers with Quicken Home & Business can also view reports for Schedule C: Small Business and Schedule E: Rental Property.

For customers on our Mac platform, users with Mac Starter get Tax Schedule and Tax Summary reports. Customers with Quicken Deluxe can also view their Capital Gains report. If you have Quicken Premier, you can additionally view the Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR).

Using categories for tax reporting

Except for Investing Capital Gains (or losses) reports, tax reporting in Quicken is driven by categories. There are automatic tax-related categories built in, but you can also assign a tax schedule to any individual category, including pre-set Quicken categories or categories you’ve created on your own.

For example, you can mark income as tax related for categories such as Salary, Dividend Income, and Interest. You can also mark expense categories as tax-related, such as Charity, Doctor, Dentist, or Daycare.

To include a transaction in your tax reports, give it a category that’s linked to a tax line item. If you’re using Windows, you can see those categories in your Category List (under Tools) in the column marked Tax Line Item. If you’re using a Mac, you can access the Categories under the Window menu. For existing tax categories, there will be a checkmark under Tax-Related. To see the related tax schedule, double-click the category.

Quicken supports all US tax schedules, so you can add categories for any schedule even if Quicken isn’t displaying any categories for that specific schedule. To do so, you may wish to consult the IRS website for Forms & Instructions to be sure you match your categories to the correct schedules.

To select a schedule for a category in Quicken for Windows, edit that category (or create a new category) and select the Tax Reporting tab. In Quicken for Mac, when you edit a category (or create a new category), select the Tax-related checkbox to bring up a list of schedules.

Creating custom tax reports

To access your tax reports in Quicken for Windows, go to Reports Reports Center and select Tax. You will see a selection of tax reports. You can also generate a custom report from any existing reports by editing the categories to show only the tax categories you want to see.

To access your tax reports in Quicken for Mac, select the Reports tab, then select Tax on the Reports sidebar. You can also create any custom tax report you like by clicking New on the Tax tab and selecting the report type and the tax categories you want to see.

  Windows example

How to track your Gross IRA Distributions:

Create a category called Gross IRA Distributions (you can also use an existing category)Select Tax Reporting and find the tax line item or form you need to assign to your category. Select the Extended list to see hundreds of itemsIn this case, you would choose line item 1099-R: Simple total gross distribution

  Mac example

How to track your Gross IRA Distributions:

Create a category called Gross IRA Distributions (you can also use an existing category)Select the Tax-related check box and find the tax line item or form you need to assign to your categoryIn this case, you would choose line item 1099-R: Simple total gross distribution

This makes it easy to create even complex tax forms. For example, if you wanted to create a Schedule E: Rental Property report, find that schedule in the picker and add the custom categories you need to track your rental income and expenses.

Be aware that you can only use one Tax Line Item per category. There’s a handy description of each Tax Line Item to ensure you’re categorizing items correctly. You can then choose that category for any relevant report.

Once you’ve set up a category, every time you add a transaction with that category, it’s automatically included in the existing Tax Schedule report, and you can export that information to TurboTax!

Quicken for Windows also provides additional tax planning tools for Quicken Deluxe and above. You can find them under PlannerTax Planning.

Things to remember

You aren’t limited by the default reports and schedules in Quicken. Beyond the tax categories that are already built in, you can add categories for most IRS Schedules and Forms. Transactions that use tax-related income and expense categories will be included in the associated tax reports (such as Tax Schedule) automatically. You can also create your own custom report to see just the tax forms, schedules, or information you need. Finally, remember that transaction categories with these special tax line items can automatically export to TurboTax.

– ​Planning for Taxes – Quicken + Simplifi Blog

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How to Maximize Your Tax Refund for 2022

Another year-end is approaching and it’s time to start thinking about taxes. 

“But I get a W-2. There’s nothing I can do for tax planning!” 

I hear this a lot. It is true, the options available to W-2 employees are more limited than the options available to small business owners. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have options. Let’s take a look at the problem, review some common expenses you need to deduct, and consider ways to save money on taxes this year.

Make your tax prep easier this year with Quicken.

Maximizing your refund as a W-2 employee

The W-2 problem in tax planning

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 made significant changes to how individuals are taxed. Perhaps the most impactful changes were the revisions to the individual deduction rules. Specifically, the standard deduction was doubled, and previously allowed deductions like unreimbursed business expenses for W-2 employees were limited or eliminated. 

While this “simplified” tax reporting for thousands of Americans, it also created a situation that does not seem fair because now, only small business owners can take advantage of the most popular deductions. 

Popular deductions that W-2 employees can’t claim

Home office: As a W-2 employee in the cloud-computing, post-COVID-19 era, you probably sometimes work from home. You might think that you can deduct your home office expenses. Sorry, you can’t.Cell phone: You likely use your cell phone for work all the time, right? If you’re like most people, your cell phone is used for business calls and emails more than it is for personal calls and emails. But can you get a tax deduction if you pay for your cell phone bill yourself? Nope. Mileage/vehicle: Gas is expensive and you go the “extra mile” to get the job done for the company. The company budgets are tight and your boss can only reimburse a fraction of your actual costs of ownership. But at least you get a tax deduction, right? Wrong again.

The solution

So if you have all these business expenses but you can’t deduct them because you’re not a small business owner, what can you do? Become a small business owner! It’s actually easier than you think. The two best ways to become a small business owner are: 

Buy and manage rental properties, orWork a side gig that pays a 1099 

When you have rental properties or a side gig that pays a 1099, you open up opportunities to deduct lots of your expenses that you can’t deduct as a W-2 employee. The particular rules for each deduction are important and I am not suggesting you claim deductions unrelated to your new small business. But overlapping expenses that are necessary for your new small business are fair game, and you are entitled to deduct at least a portion of these expenses that would otherwise not be deductible. 

Need ideas for a side gig? Check out these 23 ways to make money fast!

Using business deductions to maximize your refund

Rental property or 1099 tax planning: the basics

At a high level, rental property operations and 1099 side gigs are considered business. Therefore, they get to take business deductions. What qualifies as a business deduction is very much based on the business purpose and facts and circumstances, but in general, there are lots of expenses that qualify that you would not otherwise be able to deduct. 

Popular rental property or 1099 tax deductions 

Again, the business purpose and your specific facts and circumstances are the main considerations when looking for deductions, but here is a list of popular deductions to give you an idea of the kinds of things you should be tracking because they are usually deductible. 

Internet ExpensesBusiness Meals Business Travel ExpensesAdvertising ExpensesSupplies ExpensesInsurance ExpensesRepairs and MaintenanceProfessional ServicesRent ExpensesUtilities Expenses

Track all your deductions with Quicken.

Other things to consider

Your tax deduction increases your return on investment (ROI)

Rental property investments and side gigs are already a great economic opportunity for growing wealth. But the additional tax benefits you gain make these opportunities even more compelling. For example consider this scenario: 

You pay a marginal 25% income tax rateYou make an extra $5,000 working a side gig This side gig allows you to access $5,000 in deductions you previously were not able to access

What’s the economic result? You effectively increase your side gig income by 33%. Why? Because without the deductions, you would have had to make $6,666 in income to keep that $5,000 after taxes. In other words, your deductions allow you to earn that $5,000 tax free. 

Does this mean you’ll get a big tax refund? Not necessarily. That depends on the rest of your financial picture including how much you paid in taxes during the year and how much you owe overall. But those business deductions are reducing your total tax obligation. Whether you get a bigger refund or you just pay less, you win either way. 

Keep clean records and receipts 

Documentation is always important when it comes to ensuring you have minimal risk if audited, and you need to keep your records and receipts for three years. Using accounting software like Quicken keeps you organized and ensures you don’t miss any deductions.

Use a CPA

This is a general disclaimer but also some good advice. As you can see from the example above, a small side gig has significant tax consequences. In fact, the amount of money at stake is far greater than the nominal cost of using a CPA. Because everyone’s situation is different and the facts and circumstances matter, a CPA can make sure everything is done correctly. Plus, a CPA might identify additional tax savings opportunities. 

So what are you waiting for? Year-end is approaching — start planning now

– ​Planning for Taxes – Quicken + Simplifi Blog

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