Is taxcaster 2018 accurate for AMT?

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Nearly A Moose
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Is taxcaster 2018 accurate for AMT?

Post by Nearly A Moose » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:02 pm

Have any of the BH tax junkies verified that Taxcaster 2018 is giving accurate figures? I have this vague recollection that several years ago Taxcaster wasn't doing AMT well (I could be wrong), and i haven't really used it for years. I'm trying to calibrate my withholdings for 2018, and running Taxcaster gives me 2017 numbers and 2018 numbers. The 2017 number is accompanied by a relatively detailed summary that gives at least some confidence that it's applying the AMT and phasing out virtually all credits. But the 2018 figure is just a number without the next-level details. The difference between the 2017 and 2018 numbers is about $1,000/Mo, and I want to make sure I don't accidentally trigger underwitholding penalties. But I also don't want to give Uncle Sam a free loan.

So, do folks have confidence in Taxcaster 2018 projections? (Assuming good input data). I've seen people say it and HR Block are usually pretty close, so I guess that's something?
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

kaneohe
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Re: Is taxcaster 2018 accurate for AMT?

Post by kaneohe » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:36 pm

Try both for your conditions and see the results. They may very well be the same. HRB seems to have a problem w/ the 20% CG rate.
Try inputting 500K CG in both. Different results but if you input 250K, results are the same.

EddyB
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Re: Is taxcaster 2018 accurate for AMT?

Post by EddyB » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:40 pm

Nearly A Moose wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:02 pm
Have any of the BH tax junkies verified that Taxcaster 2018 is giving accurate figures? I have this vague recollection that several years ago Taxcaster wasn't doing AMT well (I could be wrong), and i haven't really used it for years. I'm trying to calibrate my withholdings for 2018, and running Taxcaster gives me 2017 numbers and 2018 numbers. The 2017 number is accompanied by a relatively detailed summary that gives at least some confidence that it's applying the AMT and phasing out virtually all credits. But the 2018 figure is just a number without the next-level details. The difference between the 2017 and 2018 numbers is about $1,000/Mo, and I want to make sure I don't accidentally trigger underwitholding penalties. But I also don't want to give Uncle Sam a free loan.

So, do folks have confidence in Taxcaster 2018 projections? (Assuming good input data). I've seen people say it and HR Block are usually pretty close, so I guess that's something?

I don't know with 100% certainty, but I think so. Don't forget that AMT is going to be much harder to find your way into in 2018, too, so absent very special circumstances, the statutory rates are going to be what you get.

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FiveK
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Re: Is taxcaster 2018 accurate for AMT?

Post by FiveK » Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:57 pm

Nearly A Moose wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:02 pm
Have any of the BH tax junkies verified that Taxcaster 2018 is giving accurate figures?
...
So, do folks have confidence in Taxcaster 2018 projections? (Assuming good input data). I've seen people say it and HR Block are usually pretty close, so I guess that's something?
Taxcaster is not accurate for low incomes (e.g., it ignores the saver's credit). Don't know what (if anything) it omits for higher incomes.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Is taxcaster 2018 accurate for AMT?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:59 pm

Not accurate at all. It depends on your tax situation. Simple yes, but when you have a little bit of complicated situation, it’s off, way off.

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tfb
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Re: Is taxcaster 2018 accurate for AMT?

Post by tfb » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:29 pm

I doubt anyone will pay AMT in 2018 unless they have income only subject to AMT (ISO exercise for example).
Harry Sit, taking a break from the forums.

Nearly A Moose
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Re: Is taxcaster 2018 accurate for AMT?

Post by Nearly A Moose » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:20 am

Thanks, all.

Here's my situation (roughly):

$550k W2 income (probably $75k gets taken out pre-tax), ~$5k in long term cap gains, MFJ, will max out SALT deduction, around $25,000 in mortgage interest deduction (perhaps $1-2k will be capped out), $5-10k in charitable contributions.

Is the consensus that this is unlikely trigger AMT for tax year 2018? I've had a hard time finding a good tool, and I'll confess that Ive tried and simply cannot get a good intuitive handle on the AMT.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

kaneohe
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Re: Is taxcaster 2018 accurate for AMT?

Post by kaneohe » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:51 am

Nearly A Moose wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:20 am
Thanks, all.

Here's my situation (roughly):

$550k W2 income (probably $75k gets taken out pre-tax), ~$5k in long term cap gains, MFJ, will max out SALT deduction, around $25,000 in mortgage interest deduction (perhaps $1-2k will be capped out), $5-10k in charitable contributions.

Is the consensus that this is unlikely trigger AMT for tax year 2018? I've had a hard time finding a good tool, and I'll confess that Ive tried and simply cannot get a good intuitive handle on the AMT.
Taxcaster suggests no AMT for 2017 and since it seems AMT is less likely in 2018, I would guess no AMT in 2018.

Nearly A Moose
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Re: Is taxcaster 2018 accurate for AMT?

Post by Nearly A Moose » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:42 am

kaneohe wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:51 am
Nearly A Moose wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:20 am
Thanks, all.

Here's my situation (roughly):

$550k W2 income (probably $75k gets taken out pre-tax), ~$5k in long term cap gains, MFJ, will max out SALT deduction, around $25,000 in mortgage interest deduction (perhaps $1-2k will be capped out), $5-10k in charitable contributions.

Is the consensus that this is unlikely trigger AMT for tax year 2018? I've had a hard time finding a good tool, and I'll confess that Ive tried and simply cannot get a good intuitive handle on the AMT.
Taxcaster suggests no AMT for 2017 and since it seems AMT is less likely in 2018, I would guess no AMT in 2018.
Thanks. But I most definitely will be paying AMT for tax year 2017 - I actually have something like $50,000 in state income and property taxes. But are you suggesting I plug in my 2017 information, but cap my SALT payments at $10,000, and use that as a proxy for whether I'd be likely to pay AMT in 2017 (and thus 2018)? I think that makes sense, but just double checking.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

kaneohe
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Re: Is taxcaster 2018 accurate for AMT?

Post by kaneohe » Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:38 pm

Nearly A Moose wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:42 am
kaneohe wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:51 am
......................................................................
Taxcaster suggests no AMT for 2017 and since it seems AMT is less likely in 2018, I would guess no AMT in 2018.
............................................ But are you suggesting I plug in my 2017 information, but cap my SALT payments at $10,000, and use that as a proxy for whether I'd be likely to pay AMT in 2017 (and thus 2018)? I think that makes sense, but just double checking.
[/quote]

Yes, your proxy is exactly what I did so we're thinking alike.............sorry for being so obscure.
Last edited by kaneohe on Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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FiveK
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Re: Is taxcaster 2018 accurate for AMT?

Post by FiveK » Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:47 pm

Nearly A Moose wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:20 am
Is the consensus that this is unlikely trigger AMT for tax year 2018? I've had a hard time finding a good tool, and I'll confess that Ive tried and simply cannot get a good intuitive handle on the AMT.
"Good" may be in the eye of the beholder, but when we put our 2017 situation into the personal finance toolbox spreadsheet it matches TurboTax exactly, including the amount by which we avoided the AMT adder, with two minor adjustments:
- lumped deductible car registration fees in with property tax
- adjusted state tax calculation to match the amount we actually withheld and paid in estimated tax.

If the 2018 version is anywhere near as accurate, that will be good enough for us.

Links to both the 2017 and 2018 version are in the linked wiki article.

Nearly A Moose
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Re: Is taxcaster 2018 accurate for AMT?

Post by Nearly A Moose » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:50 pm

kaneohe wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:38 pm
Nearly A Moose wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:42 am
kaneohe wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:51 am
......................................................................
Taxcaster suggests no AMT for 2017 and since it seems AMT is less likely in 2018, I would guess no AMT in 2018.
............................................ But are you suggesting I plug in my 2017 information, but cap my SALT payments at $10,000, and use that as a proxy for whether I'd be likely to pay AMT in 2017 (and thus 2018)? I think that makes sense, but just double checking.
Yes, your proxy is exactly what I did so we're thinking alike.............sorry for being so obscure.
[/quote]

Brilliant, thanks.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

Nearly A Moose
Posts: 874
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:28 pm

Re: Is taxcaster 2018 accurate for AMT?

Post by Nearly A Moose » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:50 pm

FiveK wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:47 pm
Nearly A Moose wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:20 am
Is the consensus that this is unlikely trigger AMT for tax year 2018? I've had a hard time finding a good tool, and I'll confess that Ive tried and simply cannot get a good intuitive handle on the AMT.
"Good" may be in the eye of the beholder, but when we put our 2017 situation into the personal finance toolbox spreadsheet it matches TurboTax exactly, including the amount by which we avoided the AMT adder, with two minor adjustments:
- lumped deductible car registration fees in with property tax
- adjusted state tax calculation to match the amount we actually withheld and paid in estimated tax.

If the 2018 version is anywhere near as accurate, that will be good enough for us.

Links to both the 2017 and 2018 version are in the linked wiki article.
Will check this out, thanks.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

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