Should I set up multiple .QDF files?

I manage the accounts for my dependent college student son (Yeah. He’ll learn Quicken when he has less on his plate!) He has savings, ROTH IRA accounts, and files a tax return. I just stared using Quicken after having done everything manually on a spreadsheet in the past.
I’m wondering how I should structure everything to avoid confusion at tax time. Do I create separate .QDF file for each of us? I would still like to view all the assets in combined form, though. Would it be ridiculous to create two separate files and a third one combining the two?

Answers

  • Ps56k2
    Ps56k2 SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 30
    just to clarify - do you mean Quicken QDF files ?
    I tend to have everything for everyone in my single Quicken file -
    so I can see and touch all the transactions,
    along with any "transfers" from one account to another - like one checking acct to the college checking acct or a 529 acct.
    For any reports, etc - I start with a standard, and then "customize" it by deleting specific accounts from being included.
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  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    The general rule is one tax entity per Quicken data (QDF) file.  Not only does this make it easier at tax time, if you want to eventually manage his own Quicken data file then you could hand him the data file without having to worry about how to remove your own data or to start a new data file from scratch.

    This doesn't give you the consolidated view, but it seems to me that the separation is more important.
    You could do as you said and have a third data file, but you might not like all the duplication in work.  Only you can say if that would be worth it to you.
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  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I suggest you maintain two distinct Quicken files: select File > New Quicken file...

    The main advantages of maintaining two Quicken files are simplicity and the ability to hand off the file later.  If you attempt to maintain one Quicken file, you will have to be very careful about the accounts you choose to include in various views and reports.  If you choose to maintain a third file to view the combined assets, I suspect you'll find the effort to be greater than it's worth.  
  • Ps56k2
    Ps56k2 SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    As you can see, there might be very specific reasons to split things up - but then the flip side, you might lose some aspects....
    Let us know what you decide and what works for you -
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  • Shannon M M
    Shannon M M Member
    Thank you all for the input!
    I'm still in a quandary with a slight leaning toward separate files. The transfers are fairly fluid between the accounts (between college expenses and maintaining the most beneficial balances in all accounts). So I'm nervous about making that harder. But I'll stew on it a bit and let everyone know how it all pans out.
  • @Shannon M M - if your concern is tax time, then I would separate the accounts out by who owns the accounts and is responsible to pay taxes on the accounts.  Your desire to see the "assets in combined form" is somewhat perplexing.  Any kind of IRA cannot be jointly owned and is his account.  Unless the savings account is a joint account, it is also his account.
  • Shannon M M
    Shannon M M Member
    As a matter of fact, some of the bank accounts are joint accounts. But as he is the first name listed, the interest is under his earnings for tax purposes.
    I guess I just tend to multi-task. So when I'm working on one bank it's nice to have all the accounts there on the left. Ditto the IRAs. I'm a manager on all the accounts, so I need only log into my own account page at the institution to see all the accounts. If I create two separate Quicken files I'll need to close one and open the other to update, reconcile, or just check something.
    But mainly my greatest hesitation is the ability to link to other account entries as transfers. We have several accounts that earn larger interest rates up to a specified limit (and pretty much zero above that). So I move money around (by lending it via transfer entries) in order to maximize our interest earned. I'm thinking that entry linking will not be available if I use two separate files?
  • [Deleted User]
    edited July 1
    @Shannon M M - are you able to see his IRAs in your online account at the bank?  I didn't think that was possible unless you have POA for his IRAs.  If indeed this is the case, and all of the accounts he has are either joint or you have POA over his accounts, then you would not have to have a separate data file for his accounts.  You can have one data file on Quicken.  But at tax time, you will need to run two sets of tax reports, one for you, and one for him.  This is something that can be easily done.

    Otherwise, if you do use two data files, transfers between your and his accounts would be "one sided" meaning for each transfer you would have a withdrawal in one data file and a deposit in the other.  You would not be able to connect them as a transfer.  I have two separate data files and need to do transfers between the two from time to time.  It is a bit more work but nothing unmanageable or to be hesitant about.
  • Shannon M M
    Shannon M M Member
    Yes. I am able to access and manage his IRA from within my account. So I think I'll keep everything together and decide come tax time if I should reconsider.
  • [Deleted User]
    edited July 1
    @Shannon m m - creating two sets of tax reports, one for him and one for you would be an easy thing to do in Quicken.  So I don't think you will have any issues, but if you do, come back to this forum, and we will gladly help.
  • Shannon M M
    Shannon M M Member
    Will do! Thanks to everyone for all your input!
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