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Categories and tax form assignment

EmKay Member ✭✭✭✭
I am not "new to quicken" as the category I selected suggests, but there wasn't a more accurate one.  

I have used Quicken for decades.  I have lots of custom categories and ignore many of the standard categories.  

I'm now retired.  I'm having to do more detailed tax planning.  I'm realizing that my categories don't always correctly align with TAX forms/categories.

I saw a suggestion that, if you want to see all the Quicken "default" categories, you create a new blank Quicken file.  I did that.  I'm trying to print out (would prefer an export to CSV, but not available) the list of all the categories so that I can realign MY categories so that tax forecasting is easier/more accurate.

I only get two pages of categories printed, even when I show the "full list" and hidden categories.  Pension income is nowhere on the list.

What am I doing wrong?


Quicken Classic Premier (Windows) R52.33


  • garysmith87
    garysmith87 Member ✭✭✭✭
    I'm confused...because you don't need to use Quicken's "standard" categories associated with any tax line/form.

    Just edit YOUR categories and select the proper tax line you need.  

    Tools...Category List...Highlight the category and click on the little clock to the right, select Edit.

    From the Edit Category screen, select Tax Reporting, then check "Tax Related Category" and "Extended line item list".  

    Then select the proper tax form and line from the drop down list.

    You can do this for subcategories as well.

    The tax line assignment is NOT specific to any category type.  YOU assign the tax line to ANY category in your entire category list.  You don't have to use the built in standard categories.  

    You're creating way too much work for yourself.  
  • EmKay
    EmKay Member ✭✭✭✭
    I understand that.  I wanted to see the "Quicken-recommended" tax line assignment of categories.  Mine aren't working well for tax planning.

    Quicken Classic Premier (Windows) R52.33

  • garysmith87
    garysmith87 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2021
    In what way aren't your own categories working well for tax planning?

    You either have the correct tax line item assigned to a category or you don't.  If you don't, then fix it to the proper tax line.

    Here's a suggestion...look at your 2020 tax return.  The tax lines and corresponding forms are all there.  If you have an entry on a line, make sure the corresponding Quicken category uses that tax line.  

    I don't see the value in seeing what Quicken has pre-determined it's category list.  It's a basic rudimentary list that almost all Quicken users don't adhere to.  In my case, I deleted those unused categories a bazillion years ago since I would never use them.  

    And as you mentioned, it doesn't even allow for your pension income...which I assume you've already created a category for.  Why doesn't it list pension income?  Because the standard list doesn't have it.  

    You seem to be missing the concept that it doesn't really matter which category you long as you have it associated with the correct tax line item.  I could use Dog Food as a category and assign it to a 1040 Form:Pension Income...and it will show up in the Tax Planner as income.  Is it correct?  No.  But the Tax Planner only cares which tax line item is assigned.  It doesn't care about the category.  

    Now, if you're confused as to which tax line item to associate with a tax related category, then that's a different issue.  And I think, as I mentioned, using your 2020 tax return as a guide can help you more than looking at Quicken's standard categories.  

    But if you're [intent]t on doing what you're the bottom of the Category List on the lower left side is the PRINT icon.  You should be able to print the list from there.  
  • EmKay
    EmKay Member ✭✭✭✭
    Well, never mind.  I didn't think I had to go into the reasons I want to do this, but yes, I may have some badly assigned categories/tax line items, and I know how to print because my original post says I printed but only got 2 pages of categories which didn't seem like the full list.  

    Quicken Classic Premier (Windows) R52.33

  • BK
    BK Member ✭✭✭✭
    Although the prior responses you received are valid and correct, please don't be discouraged.

    1) A blank Quicken file may not give you the comprehensive list of categories at first.  You need to add accounts of each type (paycheck, banking, CC, brokerage, retirement, etc. etc.) and then more and more standard categories will get populated into the category list.  I think you can simply manually create dummy offline accounts to achieve this in your test file.  This should give you a complete list of standard categories I believe.

    2) I think I hear what you like to accomplish and if you decide to do some cleanup in the future and get closer to the standard categories, this is what I did to distinguish between standard vs custom:
    (a) I did my best to stick to standard ones, and then
    (b) when I created a custom one, I put my initials at the very beginning of the description field.  e.g. "BK-Gifts for Kids".
    That way I could visually see, sort & filter and distinguish between system's standard categories and my custom ones.  Hope this helps a bit.
    - QWin Deluxe user since 2010, US subscription on Win11
    - I don't use Cloud Sync, Mobile & Web, Bill Pay/Mgr

  • garysmith87
    garysmith87 Member ✭✭✭✭
    My understanding is he's just using the built in Quicken categories to look up which tax lines are assigned.  My impression is that he has mis-assigned tax lines or missed assigning tax lines to the categories he already uses.  He has no intention of starting a brand new file and using the standard Quicken category/tax lines.  He's only using that as a reference.

    Possibly the user has difficulty with understanding which tax line is used, period.  That's a tax form knowledge issue.  Not a Quicken issue.  As he's retired, I can't imagine that he needs a ton of tax line associations anyways.

    And once again, in my opinion the best way to get these tax line assignments correct is to look at your 2020 tax form.  If there's an entry on a form line, look in Quicken for your category and make sure it's that tax line item associated with it.  

    Using Quicken's standard categories and tax line associations is STILL not an inclusive list of every tax scenario.  And if you don't know which tax line to associate with those categories not in the list, then you've got a real difficult issue.

    What's missing here, of course, is that if you mistakenly associate the wrong tax line to a category, all you need to do is edit the category and change it to the correct one.  So, in Quicken's tax planner if transactions appear in the wrong "place", just change the tax line assignment associated with the category.  It's that simple.  

    It may take just a little bit of trial and error, and a bit of time...but once it's set up there's really no changes that have to be made down the road.  Until the tax code changes (LOL!).

    Just as a point, however, if the OP would like to ask here what tax line assignment he should use for any specific category, all he has to do is post here and I'm sure other users would be more than happy to inform him which tax line to use.  

  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2021
    You can access the full list of Quicken's Tax Line items in the file
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Quicken\TAX.SCD
    This is a plain text file.
    I understand this isn't exactly what you're trying to accomplish. But it will give you visibility into the line items which are available for you to assign to your categories without having to squint at the tiny dialog box that appears when editing categories.

    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription (US) on Win10 Pro.
  • EmKay
    EmKay Member ✭✭✭✭

    Just as a point, however, if the OP would like to ask here what tax line assignment he should use for any specific category, all he has to do is post here and I'm sure other users would be more than happy to inform him which tax line to use.  

    I'm sorry I took so long to log back in, and I'm now forgetting exactly what situation drove me to ask this question - but I think it's because I noticed that I had previously added a category for Social Security income , when my husband started to collect, and I associated that category to "Form 1040:Social Security inc., spouse."  Now, I've retired, so I thought, let's create a category for my SSI.  But - at first glance, I didn't see the "Form 1040:Social Security inc. - self" tax associationSo I thought sure I must've deleted that category somewhere along the line and, along with it, the tax line association.  So I wanted to see the full list (assuming that there was one).

    @Rocket J Squirrel - now that I have that easily-searchable text file of the tax lines - I can see that I missed the tax line I was looking for - because the drop-down when assigning them isn't searchable.

    Quicken Classic Premier (Windows) R52.33

This discussion has been closed.