Author Topic: What tax forecasting site do you prefer(for 2018 taxes)  (Read 682 times)

lhamo

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What tax forecasting site do you prefer(for 2018 taxes)
« on: September 02, 2018, 02:59:13 PM »
I was using Intuit's Taxcaster, but it sucks -- the interface is horrible/difficult to navigate, and it doesn't seem to produce an accurate estimate.  It gives me roughly 7k less in tax-free Roth conversions than the much more user friendly/transparent calculator at olt.com does.

Are there other forecasting sites you like?  The olt.com calculations seem pretty straightforward, but I'd like to doublecheck with another site since taxcaster is so far off.

FWIW, here are my rough numbers

MFJ, 2 dependents -- one under 17 (gets us the $2000 child tax credit) and one a FT college student under 23 (gets us another $500 in the New Family Tax Credit)

Roughly 3000 in estimated interest ($2000 from the K-1 for my mom's estate, $1000 from other accounts)

Roughly $150 in qualified dividends

Plan to cash out an additional inherited IRA from my mom -- around $2900 in income from that.

Will probably sell the Nokia stock we have for a 1000 Long Term Capital Loss to offset some of the interest.

OLT.com gives me roughly 43,000 of space to convert traditional retirement amounts to Roths -- that uses up the rest of the tax credits.  Taxcaster only gives me about 36,000 of conversion room.

MDM

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Re: What tax forecasting site do you prefer(for 2018 taxes)
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2018, 05:29:54 PM »
Are there other forecasting sites you like?
...
OLT.com gives me roughly 43,000 of space to convert traditional retirement amounts to Roths -- that uses up the rest of the tax credits.  Taxcaster only gives me about 36,000 of conversion room.
I like the case study spreadsheet but then I'm biased. ;)

FWIW, it gets the same as OLT, given the numbers given.  See chart:


Also consider the "what if?" worksheets of TurboTax, TaxAct, etc.

lhamo

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Re: What tax forecasting site do you prefer(for 2018 taxes)
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2018, 11:28:41 PM »
Thanks, MDM -- your case study spreadsheet is truly an amazing tool!

After some further reflection/calculations, I think I will recommend to DH that we actually convert all the way up to the top of the 12% bracket for the next four years.  Because next year DS may well have a paid summer internship (CS/Math double major -- has friends that were getting paid 8k+/month for their internships....) that will put him into the range where he  should be filing his own tax return rather than being declared a dependent on ours, so we will likely lose the extra Family Tax Credit starting in 2019.  And in just two more years he will either be working full time in the tech sector or getting full funding as a Ph.D. student. 

DD is currently 13, so we will be able to claim the child tax credit for her for four more tax years.  DH currently has around 460k in taxable retirement accounts, so four years of conversions in the 12% bracket will take care of most of that at only around a 4-6% actual rate after our standard deduction and the tax credit.  We'll then still have 16 more years to whittle away at converting the rest of his/my taxable accounts -- probably can keep our taxes at a 3-5% actual rate during that period by getting our living expenses mostly from dividends/LTCGs on our taxable investments.

MDM

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Re: What tax forecasting site do you prefer(for 2018 taxes)
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2018, 11:59:48 PM »
After some further reflection/calculations, I think I will recommend to DH that we actually convert all the way up to the top of the 12% bracket for the next four years.
That makes a lot of sense, particularly if you can pay taxes from cash on hand rather than from the traditional withdrawal itself (because in effect that moves taxable money into the Roth account).