Tracking sales taxes


S

scott s.

Now that state sales tax is going to be deductable in the US, I'm
wondering how best to track this in Quicken. At one point I was
going in and entering splits, but having to do that on every transaction
was too time consuming. I'm thinking just create a class to earmark
the transactions, then do a report using class filter and manually
determine the total tax paid, without attempting to show the tax as
an expense category in Quicken at all.

Any other thoughts?

scott s.
..
 
T

Tom S.

Now that state sales tax is going to be deductable in the US, I'm
wondering how best to track this in Quicken. At one point I was
going in and entering splits, but having to do that on every transaction
was too time consuming. I'm thinking just create a class to earmark
the transactions, then do a report using class filter and manually
determine the total tax paid, without attempting to show the tax as
an expense category in Quicken at all.

Any other thoughts?

scott s.
.
Scott,
According to a news release on the IRS website[1},
"... The IRS will provide optional tables for use in determining the
deduction amount, relieving taxpayers of the need to save receipts
throughout the year. Sales taxes paid on motor vehicles and boats
may be added to the table amount, but only up to the amount paid at
the general sales tax rate. Taxpayers will check a box on Schedule
A, Itemized Deductions, to indicate whether their deduction is for
sales or income taxes."

The table that the IRS will provide may do that work for you. How
much more difficult will it be to review all your transactions and
mark those as taxable? What about purchases with a mixture of
taxable & non-taxable items, or purchases made in different
jurisdictions with variable tax rates, e.g. City A 8.25%, City B
7.75%?

Since I use manual entry for all receipts, I would add a category
Tax:Sales. Mark the category tax-related, and choose the
appropriate form and line item. From the press release, probably
somewhere on Schedule A. Once marked, it will appear in the built-
in tax report.

I'm thinking track for one year using manual. After one year
compare amounts with the table and choose the most favorable method.
If you don't enter each transaction manually, then your method may
give you a fair approximation, dependent on the rigorousness of your
earmarking.

[1] <URL:http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=130215,00.html>
 
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S

scott s.

Since I use manual entry for all receipts, I would add a category
Tax:Sales. Mark the category tax-related, and choose the
appropriate form and line item. From the press release, probably
somewhere on Schedule A. Once marked, it will appear in the built-
in tax report.

I'm thinking track for one year using manual. After one year
compare amounts with the table and choose the most favorable method.
If you don't enter each transaction manually, then your method may
give you a fair approximation, dependent on the rigorousness of your
earmarking.
Thanks. It seems to be a truism that the IRC rewards those who can
track their finances more closely. So using the convenient features
of the code (standard deduction, standad milage rate, and now standard
sales tax table (which is how it also worked in "the old days") saves
work but probably costs more in tax.

One "advantage" of my state's (Hawaii) system, is that virtually
everytime money changes hands, a 4% tax is collected. About the
only exemption is goods bought for resale, which are taxed at 0.5%.
Although, the Hawaii system is not a sales tax, but a general
excise tax so it isn't always expressly shown on a sales receipt.
The seller doesn't collect the tax for the state; rather, the seller
reports his gross sales and submits a 4% tax on that amount.

I download my transactions, most of which are on credit card, and
what I did in the past is use a new category, but I would have to
create a split and manually compute the sales tax and enter it,
then adjust the amount of the item purchased. It would be nice
if there was some way to automate that, and do it in batch.

scott s.
..
 
T

Tom S.

I download my transactions, most of which are on credit card, and
what I did in the past is use a new category, but I would have to
create a split and manually compute the sales tax and enter it,
then adjust the amount of the item purchased. It would be nice
if there was some way to automate that, and do it in batch.
That sounds like a job for a spreadsheet. With Windows shell
scripting [1], you might be able to download from your bank, process
with a spreadsheet, and then start Quicken and import the processed
data file.

Other posters probably have much better insight into the level of
effort required to manipulate the downloaded data file to get your
desired splits.

Note: I am finding sales taxes everywhere in my routine biils,
including services such as satellite TV, phones, lawn care & pest
control, and more. The whole topic is a genuine pain to research.

Tom


[1] Tim Hill has written two scripting books frequently recommended
by Windows sysadmins.
 
S

scott s.

That sounds like a job for a spreadsheet. With Windows shell
scripting [1], you might be able to download from your bank, process
with a spreadsheet, and then start Quicken and import the processed
data file.
You're probably right on this.

scott s.
..
 
J

John Pollard

scott said:
That sounds like a job for a spreadsheet. With Windows
shell
scripting [1], you might be able to download from your bank,
process with a spreadsheet, and then start Quicken and
import
the processed data file.
You're probably right on this.
It will be more difficult (or perhaps not possible) if you have
Q2005 (or greater ... for the archives).

There are several ways to get Excel data into QIF format for
importing into Quicken, all noted here:

http://xl2qif.chez.tiscali.fr/links_en.php

and xl2qif is free.
 
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