Use Excel to File 2015 Form 1040 and Related Schedulesby
The brinksmanship between Congress and the IRS seems to ratchet up every year with the ever-present â€œwill they or won't theyâ€ approach to tax legislation. Yet amidst the annual chaos, there is one rock-steady constant; the Excel-based version of Excel 1040 published by Glenn Reeves of Burlington, Kansas. This filing season marks his 19th spreadsheet-based version of the US Individual Income Tax Return. Citizen Reeves continues to help his fellow taxpayers who wish to avoid the tedium of paper-based filing, as well as the chaos inflicted by online tax form providers changing their prices and features unexpectedly.
Mr. Reeves' spreadsheet empowers anyone to prepare their tax return spreadsheet using applications, such as Microsoft Excel, Office 365, Libre Office (formerly known as Open Office), or Gnumeric Portable, a spreadsheet that fits on a flash drive. Click the â€œDownloadâ€ link at www.excel1040.com to get your free version of this spreadsheet.
Although the forms closely mirror the official IRS format, Mr. Reeves doesn't guarantee that the IRS will accept printed versions of this form. Personally, he files his return online after computing his return using the spreadsheet.
Figure 1: Glenn Reeves has updated his Excel-based version of IRS Form 1040 for the 2015 tax year.
The 2015 version of the spreadsheet includes both pages of Form 1040, as well as these supplemental schedules:
- Schedule A: Itemized Deductions
- Schedule B: Interest and Ordinary Dividends
- Schedule C: Profit or Loss from Business
- Schedule D: Capital Gains and Losses (along with its worksheet)
- Schedule E: Supplemental Income and Loss
- Schedule F: Profit or Loss from Farming
- Schedule SE: Self-Employment Tax
- Form 2441: Child and Dependent Care Expenses
- Form 2555: Foreign Earned Income
- Form 6251: Alternative Minimum Tax â€“ Individuals
- Form 8949: Sales and Dispositions of Capital Assets
- Form 8959: Additional Medicare Tax
- Form 8960: Net Investment Income Tax â€“ Individuals, Estates, and Trusts
- Form 8962: Premium Tax Credit (PTC)
- The spreadsheet also includes several worksheets:
- Schedule D Worksheet
- Line 10: State and Local Tax Refund Worksheet
- Lines 16a and 16b: Simplified Method Worksheet
- Lines 20a and 20b: Social Security Benefits Worksheet
- Line 32: IRA Deduction Worksheet
- Line 44: Qualified Dividends and Capital Gain Tax Worksheet
- Line 52: Child Tax Credit Worksheet
- Line 66: Earned Income Credit
- Five additional worksheets complete the tool:
- W-2 input forms that maintain up to four employers and their spouse
- 1099-R retirement input forms for up to four payers and their spouse
- SSA-1099 input form to record Social Security benefits
- An EIC (earned income credit) table
- A tax table
- A change worksheet that records revisions to the spreadsheet
All of the worksheets included in the 1040 workbook are password-protected, and most of the formulas are hidden. However, you're permitted to add new worksheets to the file or create links to other workbooks. Mr. Reeves stated that the spreadsheet is constructed so that proper use of the spreadsheet means a user won't need to access any of the protected cells. As shown in Figure 2 (below), the spreadsheet offers some limited error checking.
Figure 2: The spreadsheet offers limited error-checking prompts.
Although Mr. Reeves doesn't charge anything for the spreadsheet, he does accept contributions, which he reports on his tax return as income. He also donates 10 percent of any contributions to his church. Spreadsheet-based versions of Form 1040 are available for tax years 1996 through 2015 at www.excel1040.com.
Direct questions regarding this Excel 1040 form to Glenn Reeves via his website.
David H. Ringstrom, CPA, is an author and nationally recognized instructor who teaches scores of webinars each year. His Excel courses are based on over 25 years of consulting and teaching experience. His mantra is “Either you work Excel, or it works you.” David offers spreadsheet and database consulting services nationwide.