Spreadsheets make tax season incredibly easy, and Tiller Money aids in this yearly financial task by helping you keep your spending and income data tidy and organized.
The best part is you don’t have to buy expensive tax preparation software.
If you’re already using Tiller Money you know how much easier it is since the transactions are automated into your spreadsheet, and if you have been consistently categorizing your transactions a few times a week you’re already off to a head start on the tax prep game. If you’re just getting started with Tiller Money or didn’t feel like categorizing all of last year’s transactions, no worries, we’ve got you covered! We’ll explore a few tips and tricks to help you quickly organize your data so you’re ready when it’s time to file.
Gathering your daily spending
When it comes to tax prep it’s useful to have historical data from last year categorized in your budgeting spreadsheet. The goal is to get a total for your deductible spending such as home repairs, business expenses, charitable giving, medical expenses and many other common deductions.
If you need to get historical data into your finance spreadsheet you can reference the steps outlined in this How to Manually Import Your Bank Data help article. This is the first step in gathering bank data that’s not already in your sheet. You may need to do this for your credit cards, loans and other accounts as well. If you’ve used Mint in the past, and already connected all those accounts, that’s a really quick way to get the majority of your data into the tax prep spreadsheet and the community built Tiller Money Labs add-on makes importing Mint data into a spreadsheet quick and easy.
Categorize your spending
From there you can start categorizing any data that’s not already been categorized. The quick method to categorize a group of transactions utilizes a couple powerful built in features of Google Sheets. Simply sort by the Description column and then do a quick drag and fill on the categories for similar purchases using the quick fill square.
While you may not remember the intent of every single purchase, the description will give you a good idea and is helpful for grouping transactions together, such purchases at your favorite local hardware store or the pharmacy.
You can also use AutoCat to help you quickly categorize transactions based on a customizable rule set.
You may find that you need to think about your categories a little differently for tax prep, and if so, feel free to rename and shift categories around. The same steps for quickly categorizing can be used to re-categorize when you change a category name. Instead you’d sort by the category column and then update the assigned categories using the quick drag and fill method. Alternatively, the community built Tiller Money Labs add-on also has a rename or merge category feature.
Tie it all together
Once you’ve got your spending categorized you’re ready to do some reporting. An easy way to do this if you only need to look at your personal or family finances for taxes is a quick yearly pivot table to get your totals. Here you can filter the pivot table to only show you the total spending for your deductible categories. Now you have the data you need to fill in those sections when filing your taxes.
We share the steps on how to create a yearly pivot table with Google Sheets for tax reporting in this help article.
Share your tax info with those who need it
The last and final tip is to share this tax reporting with anyone who might need to access it such as an accountant, spouse, business partner or other family member. Google Sheets makes it really easy to securely share your tax preparation worksheet with others. Read more about Google Sheets sharing and permissions over on our help center here.
Going beyond the basics for tax prep
If you’d like to learn more about advanced workflows for making tax prep a breeze check out our other recent blog post on How to Easily Organize Your Taxes With Spreadsheets Automated by Tiller Money. You can also register for our free on demand tax prep webinar.