How To Simplify Tax Time


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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 the good news is that Quicken takes care of much 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. And, it has already pre-linked those categories to tax form line items. This means that 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 reporting on your deductions at any time of the year easy, and transferring your data to TurboTax a snap!

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

1. Choose Tools menu > Category List.

Tools category list 

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

Click action icon (the Action icon) and then choose Edit to assign the tax line item linked to a category.

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.

Set up category tax reporting

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 if you are 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.

Planning tax center

2. Choose Tax Tools > Deduction Finder.

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.

Deduction finder action plan

Use the Tax Center

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

From the Tax Center, you can view snapshots of the current year's projected tax, 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.

Planning tax center

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.

Reports and graph center

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

 Reports and Graphs tax

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

Reports and graphs detail

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 Quicken data quickly and easily 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, you can still use Quicken to print reports that consolidate a year’s worth of information into a few pages; copy the figures onto your tax forms, and your work is practically complete!

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 receive the maximum benefit from the tax tools in Quicken (such as the Tax Planner) by setting up your paycheck at the beginning of the tax year. If you are not setting up your paycheck at the beginning of the tax year, Quicken helps you to adjust your year-to-date totals at the end of the Paycheck wizard.

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

Planning tax center

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

Add paycheck

3. Click Gross Amount and then Next.

Paycheck setup

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, you’ll need to adjust future instances of your paycheck to reflect this new information. To edit all future paychecks of a paycheck you've already set up:

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

Tools manage bills

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

Intuit edit

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.

Planning tax center

2. Choose Tax Tools > Tax Planner.

Tax tools

3. Read the on-screen instructions.

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

5. Click How do I? in the upper-right corner of the Tax Planner window if you need assistance.

Tax planner

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 are over- or under-withholding.

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 your 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 after reading this guide you have questions, you can turn to the following resources.

Quicken Help
Includes explanations about how features work and steps on how to do most tasks. From the Help menu, choose Quicken Help.

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 live community

Quicken Support

If you run into a bug or other malfunction in Quicken, contact Support at

Quicken support

McGraw Hill’s

Quicken: The Official Guide

Offers a more thorough intro to Quicken and all of its features. Available at many bookstores and online.

Quicken McGraw Hill

Thank you again!

We sincerely hope this short guide gets you up-and-running with the tax features of Quicken. We really appreciate your business and work hard every day to make Quicken the best personal finance solution on the market.

-The Quicken Team