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Tax Planner Calculations

Ray Cosner
Ray Cosner Member ✭✭✭✭
I must take a different view.  In the last 24 hours, working from all the same data, Tax Planner has given me projected 2018 refunds differing by +$10k and by +$25k from the number it gives me most often.  Once yesterday it told me I was going to owe $50k more in taxes - it did this by giving me an additional $200k of income (I wish!) not supported by anything in the detail section of the line item, and not supported by reality.  

This is coming from Tax Planner unilaterally changing my inputs on various items of both income and withholding.  When I go through everything and correct the inputs, it returns to reality.  Until the next time I open it.

I can only wish for a +$25k refund - these numbers are wildly incorrect.  I'm not sure what to expect because I don't feel I have a good understanding of what the December tax changes mean for me, that's why I'm spending time in Tax Planner.  I can only judge by what it tells me after I go through each item and correct the data.

It's easy to know these are errors because they are so far off.  It does shake my confidence in Tax Planner since I'm assuming it also is making errors which are not so obvious.

Quicken Premier 2018 for Windows, R7.5, running on Windows 10 with all pending updates installed.


Note: This conversation was created from a reply on: 2018 Tax Planner.

Comments

  • markus1957
    markus1957 SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    edited January 2019
    The old interface being used can still result in some quirky behavior. It's hard to pin down a cause.

    Generally, I have found this happens when making several changes in the planner screens to test outcomes, or if the tax planner data table contains some corruption or  a transaction(s) that is causing an issue. A validation and/or super-validation of the data file would not hurt. There is also a reset to Quicken defaults in the planner menu bar that can help. I have also gone so far as to enter a User Input value of zero in the planner for every section that has a non-zero value in the summary section; then build back my desired options one at a time.

    I've found that when I encounter an unexpected change in the planner, it is best to exit Quicken and the re-open it. There appears to be some data table caching going on so the close and open helps sort that out. Once I've got it set up it with the desired projections for each section, it tends to stay pretty stable and accurate. 

    If you can reproduce an error, please reply with the steps required to cause the error and maybe it can be resolved.
  • Ray Cosner
    Ray Cosner Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2019
    I cannot reproduce this error, it seems to be random - but it is annoying and frequent.  The bottom-line tax projection is never the same or similar number when it happens.  Most often it hits my withholding, but the $50k owed error hit me by putting $200k (approx.) into the line item "Wages and Salaries - Self (other)" which is a category I've never used and it has no data - the detailed listing for that item was blank..  Frequently it changes my selections of data source for projections.  Sometimes the "Actual YTD" does not agree with the total in the detailed list.  

    I'm retired and on fixed income, so much of my income is predictable for the year.  For most income categories, my desired setting for projection is "Scheduled Bills and Deposits", but often I find that is changed when I starting going through the details to track down an error.

    This has been a chronic problem over the last several years.  I have run Validate and Super-Validate several times during all this, and neither seems to have any impact.

    I'm not creating scenarios or testing outcomes - this is all happening in my baseline plan.   Tax Planner could/should be a tremendously useful tool, but........

    I'm no IT specialist, but it seems to me Tax Planner has got a problem with data management or perhaps memory management.
  • markus1957
    markus1957 SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    edited March 2018

    I cannot reproduce this error, it seems to be random - but it is annoying and frequent.  The bottom-line tax projection is never the same or similar number when it happens.  Most often it hits my withholding, but the $50k owed error hit me by putting $200k (approx.) into the line item "Wages and Salaries - Self (other)" which is a category I've never used and it has no data - the detailed listing for that item was blank..  Frequently it changes my selections of data source for projections.  Sometimes the "Actual YTD" does not agree with the total in the detailed list.  

    I'm retired and on fixed income, so much of my income is predictable for the year.  For most income categories, my desired setting for projection is "Scheduled Bills and Deposits", but often I find that is changed when I starting going through the details to track down an error.

    This has been a chronic problem over the last several years.  I have run Validate and Super-Validate several times during all this, and neither seems to have any impact.

    I'm not creating scenarios or testing outcomes - this is all happening in my baseline plan.   Tax Planner could/should be a tremendously useful tool, but........

    I'm no IT specialist, but it seems to me Tax Planner has got a problem with data management or perhaps memory management.

    I do see that the Wages & Salaries (Other) lines have overlapping tax lines/categories (details link) with the Wages & Salaries Self/Spouse details. That could cause a conflict. Both (Other) sections in my planner are greyed out for 2018 inputs. If you don't already you should manually enter User Entered zero values in both Self and Spouse Details section.

    I'm recently retired also so my income is similarly projected with scheduled transactions. I have not seen the tax planner transients you describe since shortly after installing 2018. I did do a clean install with QCleanUI a couple of months ago, maybe that helped.
  • Ray Cosner
    Ray Cosner Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2018
    Two good suggestions, thanks.
  • Ray Cosner
    Ray Cosner Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2018
    I did both your suggestions.

    First, I put in the user-entered zeroes.  Even while I was doing it in Tax Planner, my refund was bouncing around by $30k or more, mainly through new errors in my withholding.  At one point, it showed my total withholding as the amount for future payments, totally disregarding the amount already withheld this year.  

    I took that as a bad sign, and I went ahead immediately with uninstalling Quicken, running QCleanUI, and reinstalling.  That went smoothly, except at the end Quicken hung up during launch.  I got it to start by double-clicking the QDF file.  It opened with a credible situation in the Tax Planner.  So far, so good.  If it stays good for a week or so, I'll post again and say so.
  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2018

    I cannot reproduce this error, it seems to be random - but it is annoying and frequent.  The bottom-line tax projection is never the same or similar number when it happens.  Most often it hits my withholding, but the $50k owed error hit me by putting $200k (approx.) into the line item "Wages and Salaries - Self (other)" which is a category I've never used and it has no data - the detailed listing for that item was blank..  Frequently it changes my selections of data source for projections.  Sometimes the "Actual YTD" does not agree with the total in the detailed list.  

    I'm retired and on fixed income, so much of my income is predictable for the year.  For most income categories, my desired setting for projection is "Scheduled Bills and Deposits", but often I find that is changed when I starting going through the details to track down an error.

    This has been a chronic problem over the last several years.  I have run Validate and Super-Validate several times during all this, and neither seems to have any impact.

    I'm not creating scenarios or testing outcomes - this is all happening in my baseline plan.   Tax Planner could/should be a tremendously useful tool, but........

    I'm no IT specialist, but it seems to me Tax Planner has got a problem with data management or perhaps memory management.

    I've always found a Validate solves many Tax Planner quirks.
    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
    Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
  • I have also had similar problems with Tax Planner not taking changes. Since there seems to be no "Save" function for changes, I have always assumed that they were saved automatically. Recently, I tried making Tax Planner changes and then closing Quicken before opening Tax Planner again. Not a good solution, but so far it seems to work and the changes are permanent.
  • Ray Cosner
    Ray Cosner Member ✭✭✭✭
    Burt, The solution presented by markus1957 above worked for me. Since I did that 7 months ago, Tax Planner has been rock-solid and completely reliable.

    His solution was to uninstall Quicken, then run QCleanUI (available on the Quicken.com web site) to clean up remnants from old installations, delete or rename the folders where Quicken was installed, then re-install Quicken from your Quicken.com account. This solution suggests the errors are due to accumulated conflicts from installing many annual versions of Quicken into the same folders.

    Since I did all that, I have seen statements on this forum that it's only necessary to run QCleanUI, not necessary to uninstall and reinstall Quicken. QCleanUI runs quickly, well under a minute. You might try that first.

    I am running the subscription version of Quicken on Windows 10 Pro with all updates installed to both Windows and Quicken.
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