You people with a predilection for tax forms. At least you’re not Glenn Reeves, the guy who has slavishly recreated Form 1040 in Microsoft Excel for the past 17 years. Sick of Lacerte, ATX, Creative Solutions, and their ilk? Figure out how deep the gubmint’s hand is going in your pocket in a spreadsheet instead. Take your rogue ways further with off-the-grid spreadsheets like Libre Office or Gnumeric Portable. The latter runs off of a flash drive, so it’s ideal for figuring out your taxes while you hang with the porn surfers at the public library.
As is requisite for tax forms, there’s a dose of pain involved with getting to the damn thing Reeves has developed. When you click the download link, it’ll promptly choke up in Google Docs. Look for a prompt that lets you save it to your computer instead, and then you’ll be filing your tax form like its 1999—all seventeen years of the spreadsheet are available for immediate download.
As you can see in Figure 1, the form closely mirrors the official IRS format, but Reeves doesn't guarantee that the IRS will accept printed versions of this form. He personally files his return online after using the spreadsheet to compute his return.
The 2013 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 SE – Self-Employment Tax
- Form 6251 – Alternative Minimum Tax – Individuals
- Form 8949 – Sales and Dispositions of Capital Assets
The spreadsheet also includes several worksheets that I won't list out because ain't nobody got time for that.
The workbook is locked down with passwords, but you can go all NSA on the spreadsheet with a quick visit to www.lostpassword.com, or if you don’t mind risking a side of malware, poke around on Google.
Although Reeves gives the spreadsheet away, he does accept appreciation contributions, which he reports on his tax return as income (because of course he does). He also donates 10% of any contributions to his church.
Questions? Problems with the spreadsheet? Don’t ask me, I didn’t write it. I have better ways of spending my time. Capiche?
David H. Ringstrom, CPA — @excelwriter on Twitter — heads up Accounting Advisors, Inc., an Atlanta-based software and database consulting firm.