Estimated Tax Payments in Tax Planner Error

I have a quarterly bill reminder for estimated taxes. In Tax Planner, under Estimated Tax Payments, the total for Scheduled Bills and Deposits includes a scheduled payment in 2020. This payment would be for 2020 estimated taxes, not 2019. Having already paid first quarter estimated taxes, tax planner computes a total of 5 quarters as estimated taxes, one actually paid, 3 more scheduled in 2019 and one in 2020.


  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    4th quarter federal estimated taxes are due in January of the next year. That is probably where the confusion is coming from.

    In QWin 2019, the tax planner seems to be working correctly for me - it shows the 2019 tax year payments as 4/15, 6/15, 9/15/2019 and 1/15/2020. The "how often" selection for the reminder is set to "to pay estimated taxes" not quarterly.
    QWin Premier subscription
  • I am not using the "how often" selection for the reminder  to "to pay estimated taxes" . It's true that using this selection gives you the due dates. However, the IRS let's you pay ahead of time and it is convenient for me to pay in December rather than waiting 2 weeks until Jan 15. So I set up quarterly payments. In my original post the tax planner picked up a payment scheduled for March 31, 2020 and treated it as a 2019 payment.

    Finally I would say that this used to work correctly in Quicken 2016 before I switched over to the subscription service. Quicken shouldn't assume that we are all going to wait until the 11th hour to send in our tax payments.

  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    From C. D. Bales:

    "In Tax Planner, under Estimated Tax Payments, the total for Scheduled Bills and Deposits includes a scheduled payment in 2020. This payment would be for
    2020 estimated taxes, not 2019."

    I am not able to reproduce your problem.

    I created a Reminder for estimated tax payments starting with April 15, 2019 (the first estimated tax payment for tax year 2019). I manually entered an estimated tax payment dated January 15, 2019. That is my only actual transaction for estimated taxes.

    In my test, Quicken correctly did not show the January 15, 2019 estimated tax payment in the Tax Planner for 2019.

    Estimated tax payments are for the preceding quarter. So:
    A January 15, 2019 estimated tax payment is for 2018 estimated taxes.
    An April 15, 2019 estimated tax payment is for 2019 estimated taxes (it is the first estimated tax payment for 2019).
    A January 15, 2020 estimated tax payment is for 2019 estimated taxes.

    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
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  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    But @jimpierce36 likes to pre-pay his taxes. He makes the payment due Jan 15 in December and the one due April 15 in March. Apparently the Tax Planner is assuming that the March payment should be credited to the previous tax year.

    If you go to the Tax Planner's Tax Payments page, click on Estimated Taxes to expand the details at the bottom and select User Entered rather than Quicken Data, you can enter whatever amount you want the tax planner to use for the estimated taxes you paid for that tax year.

    The Tax summary report will probably still assume that estimated tax payments made in the first quarter should be applied to the previous year.
    QWin Premier subscription
  • I have switched to User Entered. I just checked the Tax Summary Report and it only shows actual payments made and so far that is just the March  payment. So it did include that in the 2019 report and no future 2019 payments. Which is at least consistent with all other tax  categories.
  • markus1957
    markus1957 SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    edited April 2019
    Playing with this briefly, it appears April 1, serves as some form of If/Then condition in Tax Planner. Regardless of the Scheduled Reminder date selection (Once, Quarterly, Estimated Quarterly), Dates prior to April 1, do not show up in current year Tax Planner transaction details, dates of April 1 or later do show up as expected.

    Manually entered transactions (assigned to estimated taxes tax line) with dates prior to April 1 show up in the Totals box in Tax Planner but the transaction does not show up in the details section.

    So the behavior is inconsistent and could be improved. A date of February 1, could be used instead of April 1 in the If/Then coding and likely would better accommodate the group of users who pay their estimated taxes more than 2 weeks earlier than required. I don't think this change would be noticeable to users who pay close to the prescribed dates.  (Adding- the change would still require using quarterly scheduling rather than the special estimated schedule for proper cash flow projections, but early Q1 payments made using the special estimated schedule would be assigned to the proper year)

    Another workaround would be to assign your scheduled reminder one of the Tax Lines associated with the Other Withholding section. It shows up in the wrong section but accomplishes the cash flow and year assignments as you actually use them.

    Adding further-  After more thought, I kind of see the logic of April 1 as mitigating confusion in users who owe taxes on April 15 for the previous year.  It's probably a smaller group who waits to finish their taxes at the deadline and has to manually adjust the category/tax line (actually create a new category with tax line) in the register to show the payment for the previous year's taxes.  Quicken does not provide a "Previous Year Tax Payment" category/tax line in the default category list so moving the If/Then date logic to Feb 1 would require almost everyone to create a new category/tax line so that a payment for taxes owed at filing would not be assigned to the current year.  I suspect the number users who make very early estimated payments is small compared to the number who make payments filing between Feb 1 and April 1.  Quicken could mitigate the impact by providing a default category/tax line for a previous year tax payment that will not impact Tax Planner projections for the current year.
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