Are US tax forms available as formula-based, linked Excel spreadsheets or Google Doc templates or something similar?
A couple of years ago I managed to pull together all my taxes on a series of linked spreadsheets. I entered all the formulas and data manually, and all the sheets fed into a 1040 form, so that it was all very transparent and easy to see the impact of any one input on the final amount due. (I think the only issues were with entering the tax due from the tables because the tax rate calculation is a little different than the amount you get from the table and some of the "if line is greater than line b" statements.) I had to then transfer all that onto the forms I submitted, but it made the whole process much more manageable. For the first time I felt like I understood why I was paying what I was paying and what I could do to change it.
I've used turbotax and its cousins and don't like the "black box" quality: you enter numbers and answer questions and it spits out a result, but you don't really understand the relationships between them.
It would be great if the IRS simply released the whole 1040 package as a set of linked spreadsheets, but I don't think that will happen anytime soon.
Is anything like this available on line, for example in a google doc template? I'm not referring to the static tax "organizers" that most accountants will give you where you fill in blanks but they don't actually calculate anything.
The only things I've found are this guy
(though I can't get the download to function) and this
(which is close, and I don't mind paying the $10, but I'd be happy with something even more bare-boned).