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Current Best 2018 Federal Tax Estimator?
Old 07-22-2018, 10:48 AM   #1
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Current Best 2018 Federal Tax Estimator?

I need to calculate my 2018 tax liability including SS, pensions and IRA withdrawals. Taxcaster is still using the 2017 program and gives you an estimated 2018 total, but I find the input flexibility lacking - for example SS is not entered separately, even though it is not 100% taxable.


Has anyone found a good 2018 Federal tax estimator?
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Old 07-22-2018, 11:05 AM   #2
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hello travelover,

Did you try this one -- https://taxfoundation.org/2018-tax-reform-calculator/

You can use a scenario or create a custom one.

Regards,

CBH
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Old 07-22-2018, 01:22 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by cynicalbuthopeful View Post
hello travelover,

Did you try this one -- https://taxfoundation.org/2018-tax-reform-calculator/

You can use a scenario or create a custom one.

Regards,

CBH
Thanks, that was a big help.
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Old 07-22-2018, 01:27 PM   #4
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Looks promising, will crunch the numbers & see what pain level is headed my way.
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Old 07-22-2018, 02:19 PM   #5
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If you used Turbo Tax for your 2017 income taxes then a What-If worksheet is the best that I know of.... you just need to make sure to check the little box to use 2018 tax rates.

Otherwise, Taxcaster: https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tool...ors/taxcaster/
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Old 07-22-2018, 02:52 PM   #6
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I just use an Excel spreadsheet. I do estimated taxes in the spreadsheet throughout the year. When the return is finalized in TurboTax, I transfer the actual numbers to Excel and verify calculations. I then copy that to a new tab to start the estimates for the next year. I usually just make changes for new rates, standard deduction amount, HSA contribution limit, etc.

This year, the tax law changes actually simplified things a bit... no exemptions, and forget about itemizing and bunching deductions. We have 2 pensions, rental income, qualified dividends, long-term capital gains, and Roth conversions. Simple enough for Excel. The online tools all require workarounds for something as simple as an HSA contribution or rental income. For that reason, I just don't trust that I'm getting a reliable answer.
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Old 07-22-2018, 03:16 PM   #7
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Actually, I use an Excel spreadsheet too, but not all people are into the details sufficient to do that. I use TT's What-If worksheet to validate the Excel model.

Similar thing here in that not itemizing deductions makes 2018 and subsequent a simpler model.
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Old 07-22-2018, 03:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover View Post
............................ Taxcaster is still using the 2017 program and gives you an estimated 2018 total, but I find the input flexibility lacking - for example SS is not entered separately, even though it is not 100% taxable.

...............................................
not true...............

Taxcaster input page: (click on other income & see various options)

Social Security benefits?
Make a little extra this year? That's great, let's get an idea of how it will impact your refund

$
*************************
still I like this one better since all input is on a single page:
https://www.mortgagecalculator.org/c...calculator.php

click on the wide "V" on the right hand side to expand the options.
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Old 07-22-2018, 04:55 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
not true...............

Taxcaster input page: (click on other income & see various options)

Social Security benefits?
Make a little extra this year? That's great, let's get an idea of how it will impact your refund

$
*************************
still I like this one better since all input is on a single page:
https://www.mortgagecalculator.org/c...calculator.php

click on the wide "V" on the right hand side to expand the options.
Thanks, I did not see the "other income" tab. I think I like your linked calculator the best.
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Old 07-22-2018, 06:12 PM   #10
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I've been just using an Excel spreadsheet to do it. But, my return is pretty simple.

OK this calculator is better than my spreadsheet:

https://www.mortgagecalculator.org/c...calculator.php

I like this one the best of those mentioned.

Where I liked it better than my calculator is it more easily determines the amount of SS that is taxable. For 2018, all of our SS is taxable as we withdrew more this year to do work to our house to get ready to sell it.

For next year and future years though I don't expect to have all of our SS be taxable. I liked how this calculator very clearly showed how much was taxable. I had been basically assuming it would all be taxable (well, 85% of it) next year and was pleasantly surprised to find out that a good bit would not be taxable.
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Old 07-29-2018, 04:47 PM   #11
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I posted a similar question not long ago. Someone recommended Dinkytown.net, and I think it's quite good.


https://www.dinkytown.net/java/1040-tax-calculator.html
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Old 07-29-2018, 05:12 PM   #12
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Here's one I found on the Bogleheads forum. I haven't compared all of these, so use at your own risk.

https://sites.google.com/site/excel1...er-new-tax-law
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Old 07-29-2018, 05:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
If you used Turbo Tax for your 2017 income taxes then a What-If worksheet is the best that I know of.... you just need to make sure to check the little box to use 2018 tax rates.

Otherwise, Taxcaster: https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tool...ors/taxcaster/
I also used the What if in TT for 2018 using my 2017 income including RMDs, SS, CG, etc. The tax calculated is $1600 less than my 2017 tax,
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Old 07-29-2018, 10:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOBOT View Post
I posted a similar question not long ago. Someone recommended Dinkytown.net, and I think it's quite good.


https://www.dinkytown.net/java/1040-tax-calculator.html
Hmmm... this calculator is literally identical to the one at:

https://www.mortgagecalculator.org/c...calculator.php

The written explanations are identical. I don't know if they are two URLs for the same site or which is the original....
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Old 07-30-2018, 04:38 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by BOBOT View Post
I posted a similar question not long ago. Someone recommended Dinkytown.net, and I think it's quite good.


https://www.dinkytown.net/java/1040-tax-calculator.html
I also think this (and the perhaps identical ? mortgage calculator) is quite good. Be aware tho that this and similar calculators like Taxcaster and HR Block Tax Calculator may not always get all the credits due automatically........ e.g. the Saver's Credit. This one at least will display a list of various credits and the forms that calculate them .........so you get a reminder and the form that calculates each.........and you can then calculate and then input the credit manually.
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Old 07-30-2018, 08:49 AM   #16
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I don't know if this will do what you need, but I tried several calculators recently and this was my favorite:

https://www.olt.com/main/home/taxestimator.asp
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Old 07-30-2018, 08:58 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
Actually, I use an Excel spreadsheet too, but not all people are into the details sufficient to do that. I use TT's What-If worksheet to validate the Excel model.

Similar thing here in that not itemizing deductions makes 2018 and subsequent a simpler model.

Same here. And I think the case for a lot of people. The side-effect, one-man shops are closing up, consulting gigs are not as attractive...unless you spend a lot of dough on the business.

Me, I was at or around 20-25k past few years so this year I consciously made the decision NOT to spend money related to business activities knowing it wouldn't be worth the itemization. I think a lot of folks took this approach this year and growth will ultimately slow because of it.
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Old 07-30-2018, 09:03 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by mountainsoft View Post
I don't know if this will do what you need, but I tried several calculators recently and this was my favorite:

https://www.olt.com/main/home/taxestimator.asp
thanks for that link.....had probably seen it before but never looked closer.
Maybe a bit better since it does calculate the saver's credit automatically but I believe it may be in error since for the particular example I used (20K income and $1333 TIRA contribution), it doesn't get 50% saver's credit........may be taking TIRA contribution as a deduction not affecting AGI rather than an adjustment that does.......or perhaps not updated yet for 2018....looks like income limits changed.

another irritant: does not show AGI; also if I input income of 80K, MFJ, it shows taxable income of 53.4K instead of the 56K expected. maybe it's me but I can't figure it out....
There also is a New Family Credit of $500.....what is that
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Old 07-30-2018, 11:59 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
another irritant: does not show AGI; also if I input income of 80K, MFJ, it shows taxable income of 53.4K instead of the 56K expected. maybe it's me but I can't figure it out....
There also is a New Family Credit of $500.....what is that
Are you over 65 years old?
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Old 07-30-2018, 12:12 PM   #20
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Are you over 65 years old?
and the winner is...............thanks! completely forgot about that.
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