Simplify Tax

How to Simplify Tax Time with Quicken

Time To Read 8 MIN READ

The more tax information you track in Quicken, the easier your life can be when tax time rolls around. And you don’t have to wait until your taxes are due to find out where you stand. In fact, you probably won’t want to. This guide shows you how to:

  • Track your tax deductions
  • Find new tax deductions
  • Use the Tax Center
  • Run tax reports
  • Track your paycheck
  • Use the Tax Planner
  • Explore other tax features
  • Get help when you need it

Track your tax deductions

Tracking tax-deductible expenses is easy if you assign categories to your transactions. And Quicken takes care of a lot of the work for you!

Right out of the box, Quicken includes most of the categories you’ll need to track your tax-deductible expenses—categories that are already linked to tax form line items. For example, if you’re using a Quicken category like Gifts & Donations: Charity, all of the transaction amounts assigned to that category are tracked and automatically mapped to federal form Schedule A: Cash charity contributions.

This makes it easy to generate deduction reports at any time of the year, and transferring your data to TurboTax is a snap!

To review and change Quicken’s tax-related categories:

1. Choose Tools menu > Category List.

2. The Tax Line Item column shows which categories are tax-related, and the tax line item linked to each.

Tip: If you don’t see the Tax Line Item column, click gear icon (the Gear icon) and choose Tax Line Item.

You may find that Quicken doesn’t have all the tax-related categories you need. For example, if you subscribe to certain periodicals that are related to the production of tax-related income, you may want to create a category to track that information in Quicken.

To add a new tax-related category:

1. Choose Tools menu > Category List, and then click New.

2. On the Details tab, name the category and specify if it is an income or expense category.

3. Click the Tax Reporting tab.

4. Select the tax form line item to link the category to.

Tip: If you don’t know which tax line item to assign, you can come back later and select it.

Find new tax deductions

Are you missing deductions? The Quicken Deduction Finder helps determine whether you're eligible for over 100 common tax deductions. And if you are eligible, it helps you create the categories you’ll need to track your expenses. It also explains the types of records you should keep for tax time.

To use the Deduction Finder (requires Quicken Premier or above):

1. Click the Planning tab, and then click the Tax Center button.

2. Choose Tax Tools > Deduction Finder.

3. Select a deduction type, and then a specific deduction. For example, Employee > Car Expense-Lease.

4. Answer the questions to see if you're eligible for the deduction.

5. Click Create a Category to track a deduction you may be eligible for.

6. Click the Action Plan tab for information about the type of tax records you need to keep.

Use the Tax Center

To take a quick look at where you stand with your taxes, use the Tax Center.

In the Tax Center, you can view snapshots of the current year's projected taxes, tax calendar, and year-to-date tax-related expenses and income. You can also launch important tax tools like the Tax Planner. To go to the Tax Center:

Click the Planning tab, and then click the Tax Center button.

Run tax reports

For a more detailed look at where you stand with your taxes, run tax reports.

Until you become familiar with reports in Quicken, the best place to see what’s available and create tax reports is the Reports & Graphs Center. Here’s how:

1. Choose Reports menu > Reports & Graphs Center.

2. Click Tax to see a list of available tax reports.

3. Click the name of the report that you want to run.

4. Select a date range or tax year, as necessary.

5. Click Show Report.

The tax reports available to you depend on the version of Quicken you have. These are the reports available in Quicken Deluxe:

  • Capital Gains: Displays short- and long-term sales that are subject to capital gains tax.
  • Tax Schedule: Displays tax-related transactions subtotaled by tax form line item.
  • Tax Summary: Displays tax-related transactions subtotaled by category.

These reports are added in Quicken Premier:

  • Schedule A: Displays itemized deductions only.
  • Schedule B: Displays interest and dividend income in all accounts.
  • Schedule D: Displays realized gains or losses, loss carryovers, and long-term capital gains distributions for securities in investment accounts.

This report is added in Quicken Home and Business:

  • Schedule C: Displays income or loss from self-employment.

This report is added in Quicken Rental Property Manager:

  • Schedule E: Displays income or loss from rental real estate.

Export your data to TurboTax

TurboTax can read and import your data directly from Quicken. Other than assigning categories to your transactions (see above), there’s nothing you need to do in Quicken to facilitate this process. Just open TurboTax and respond that you want to import your Quicken data when prompted.

Even if you don’t use tax-preparation software like TurboTax, you can still use Quicken to print reports that consolidate a year’s worth of information into a few pages. Just copy the figures onto your tax forms, or, if you prefer, send the reports to your accountant.

“[Quicken] makes it uber easy for my accountant to do my taxes at the end of the year and because of that I pay less than she normally charges which makes Quicken basically free.”

West D. | Quicken Deluxe 2019

Track your paycheck

When you enter only your net salary as a deposit in your register, you lose many of the details of your paycheck, such as amount you paid in federal taxes and other payroll deductions.

To make things easy, Quicken has a special paycheck feature that tracks gross amounts, deductions, and net amounts for your paycheck. This simplifies a great deal of your tax planning in Quicken.

To add your paycheck:

You’ll get the most out of the tax tools in Quicken (such as the Tax Planner) by setting up your paycheck at the beginning of the tax year. If you didn’t do that, it’s okay., Quicken can help you adjust your year-to-date totals using the Paycheck wizard.

1. Click the Planning tab, and then click the Tax Center button.

2. Click the Add Paycheck button. You’ll find it below the Taxable Income YTD snapshot.

3. Click Gross Amount and then Next.

4. Work through the Paycheck wizard and enter the information that Quicken requests.

Click the Help icon if you have a question.

To adjust your paycheck:

If you get a raise or change jobs, or if other circumstances permanently affect your paycheck, be sure to enter the new information into the Quicken software know. To edit a memorized paycheck you've already set up:

1. Choose Tools menu > Manage Bill & Income Reminders.

2. Right-click on the paycheck and then choose Edit. To make a one-time change to a single paycheck, simply edit it in the register.

Use the Tax Planner

After you add a paycheck to Quicken and assign tax categories to a few tax-related expenses, you have a wealth of tax-related data at your fingertips. The Tax Planner can use your Quicken data to help you anticipate the current year’s tax liability.

If you did not add your paycheck at the beginning of the tax year, or did not add year-to-date information when you added your paycheck, don’t worry. You can update this information as you work through the Tax Planner wizard.

To get started:

1. Click the Planning tab, and then click the Tax Center button.

2. Choose Tax Tools > Tax Planner.

3. Read the on-screen instructions.

4. Click Let’s get started at the bottom of the Tax Planner window.

Explore other tax features

If you want to use Quicken to help you plan or manage your taxes in more detail, try some of the other tools that Quicken provides. All of these tools require Quicken Deluxe or above.

  • Tax Withholding Estimator: In the Tax Center, click Tax Tools > Tax Withholding Estimator to review whether you’re over- or under-withholding taxes from your paycheck.
  • Capital Gains Estimator: In the Tax Center, click Tax Tools > Capital Gains Estimator to help plan security sales so you can maximize after-tax yields. If you’re using Quicken Premier, you’ll also have access to the “What Should I Sell?” component of the Capital Gains Estimator where you can specify goals—such as offsetting gains with losses—and have Quicken suggest sales of investments that can help you meet those goals.
  • Itemized Deduction Estimator: In the Tax Center, click Tax Tools > Itemized Deduction Estimator to review your expenses and make sure that you’re taking all the deductions to which you’re legally entitled.
  • Loan Accounts: Quicken now downloads loan information from lenders. This makes tracking the annual interest paid on your loan almost automatic. At the bottom of the Account Bar, click Add an Account. Click Loan and follow the on-screen instructions.
  • Quicken on your phone or tablet: Quicken on your mobile device (iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet) makes keeping track of your expenses super easy. Whether you’re at home or on the go, enter your tax-related transactions as they occur. Then click a single button in your desktop software to sync your data across your computer, tablet, and smartphone—easily and securely. Within your desktop software, click the Mobile & Alerts tab to get started.

Get help when you need it

We want to make sure you get the help you need. If you have questions after reading this guide, here are some more resources.

Quicken Help

Quicken Help includes step-by-step explanations about how features work and how to do most tasks. From the Help menu, choose Quicken Help.

Quicken Live Community

An online forum where you can get answers from other Quicken users and experts. Click the Help button in the lower right of Quicken. You can also access Live Community at

Quicken Videos

We also offer videos that walk you through many of Quicken’s features. Including:

At tax time and throughout the year, our mission at Quicken is to help our customers lead healthy financial lives. If you need more help, Quicken members enjoy free phone support from 5:00am PT to 5:00pm PT, Monday through Friday, and free chat support 24/7. 

-The Quicken Team