How to estimate your taxes using Excel

2019 Tax Estimate Spreadsheet

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If you are looking to find out if you will get a tax refund or if you owe money this year, here is a simple Excel spreadsheet that can help you estimate federal and state income taxes before you file your return.

The formulas and spreadsheets shown and linked below take the new tax reform and tax cuts into account that went into effect under President Trump.

Despite being an impulsive buyer, I consider myself financially responsible. So besides keeping track of my spending, savings, and investments on a daily to weekly basis, I also run tax forecast calculations once or twice a year. I do that because I want to make sure that I’m not having withheld too little but more importantly, I don’t want to lend any money, interest-free, to the government.

Source: Moneychimp
Source: Moneychimp

Over the years I have fine-tuned my Excel spreadsheet to require as little input as necessary, especially when it comes to correctly calculating my income tax withholding, based on the various brackets.

 I tried to find an example for Excel that would calculate federal and state taxes based on the 2017/2018/2019 brackets. What I found was either too simple or way too complicated. So I spent some time on putting together, what I consider, an accurate enough forecast. It doesn’t account for every single deduction there is, that’s what I have my CPA for, but it’s good enough to give a decent estimate.

Download Spreadsheets

Assumptions

  • Married, filing jointly
  • Residing in Georgia
  • IRA and 401k contributions
  • Mortgage interest and property tax tax

You can easily change the assumptions, i.e., if you’re single, by changing the information highlighted in green. Use the links on the bottom to obtain the correct tax brackets for your situation.