Welcome to the Colorado Resource Toolbox
The following tools are designed to be helpful to AARP Tax-Aide Counselors and Trainers. They are not intended to replace official IRS documentation and while accuracy is attempted, no software can be guaranteed to be bug-free. If you see a problem, please let me know so that it can be corrected.

Most of the calculators have a year option that allows the selection of the current and three years prior. They will default to the new tax year on December first. Version changes can be seen by viewing the web page source if desired.

Jeff Bogart, CO1 D18 TC/Longmont ERO


There have been a few rare cases where too many accesses to the tools from the same IP address has caused that IP to be locked out as a way to detect and prevent possible hacking on the server. This has only been an issue in January when we're all in the training mode. Because we're on a shared managed server, I have no control over this.

If you have a large class (more than about 40 people) or if there are other classes elsewhere training at the same time with the same IP address (such as a large community library network), please demonstrate the tools rather than have the entire class practice at the same time and leave it as a homework exercise.

Web Accessible Tools
Using data from the taxpayer's, other dependents' tax returns and the cost of the Lowest Cost Bronze Plan (LCBP) and Second Lowest Cost Silver Plan (SLCSP), calculates the affordability of the health care and if Code A or G apply.
(AKA Pension Exclusion Calculator)
Given the taxpayer's retirement date (first retirement paycheck) and taxpayer and spouse birthdates, calculates an exclusion table by year and a sample form for Tax Slayer input. Also handles the Public Safety Officer insurance exclusion.
Rather than search through the entire list of business codes, click on headers to expand that portion of the list until a suitable code is found.
A Colorado-specific table that lists the city and county local sales tax rates for use in Schedule A for those counties you select.
Up to $100,000 can be taken in 2020 from retirement savings accounts. This worksheet compares the results of paying all the tax in 2020 versus the option of spreading the tax over the three years 2020 - 2022 given expected increase in income in the later 2 years. Also includes the effect of paying it back during the later 2 years.
Is a dependent a child or relative? What benefits might the taxpayer claim as a result? This tool is a combination of all the Pub 4012 charts - without the charts. Choose the various taxpayer and dependent options and see a list of benefits. If they don't qualify for a benefit, click on it to see why not.
There are five different ways to claim education credits, each with their own limits and types of expenses allowed. There are also different funding sources that can be used tax-free for different types of expenses. This calculator provides a way to determine which is best among the most common three (American Opportunity Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit, and Tuition and Fees Adjustment) and can determine the amount of a scholarship that can be made taxable to maximize the taxpayer's credit.
This is the Form 1040-ES form with considerable expansion, used to estimate taxes for the next year.
This can also be used to do an MFJ/MFS comparison if there are no complications in the taxpayers' situation (such as living apart, etc)
This is a combination of the Head of Household Worksheet 2-1 (Cost of Keeping Up a Home) and the Pub 17 Worsheet 3-1 (Worksheet for Determining Support) — due to the similarity with household expenses used in both worksheets. Once in the tool, select which you want to use.
An implementation of a home sale worksheet that asks the questions needed to determine if the taxpayer qualifies for an exclusion and assists in calculating the basis of the home being sold. Provides input information for the TaxSlayer home sale worksheet and/or direct entry as a capital gain or loss on Form 8949. Does not support partial exclusions (although indicates if the taxpayer may qualify) and does not support homes that have been used for business or have sustained casualty losses.
A worksheet for Form 8606 Parts I and II for Nondeductible IRA contributions. It can handle up to 3 IRAs for each taxpayer and indicates the amount taxable for each IRA if deductions or conversions are taken from more than one IRA. (Form 8606 computes the total for all transactions.) Also provides the totals for input to create the TaxSlayer Form 8606.
If a home mortgage includes a portion of the funds that were used to pay expenses for other than for the home or improvements to that home, not all the interest is deductible. This may occur for a second or a refinanced mortgage. Such other expenses might be to pay credit card debt, medical expenses, vacation trips or a new car, as examples. This worksheet helps determine how much of the interest paid on the mortgage is deductible. The taxpayer must provide the mortgage balance amount for the end of each month for the current tax year (i.e., not the amount paid).
TaxSlayer provides no assistance in determining the portion of income (other than W-2s), adjustments and deductions available for a part-year resident. This worksheet is tailored to Colorado state tax returns and provides TaxSlayer totals for input to the "Income Subject to Tax" section.
Railroad retirement Tier 1 and/or Tier 2 amounts are not handled correctly on Colorado state tax returns. Tier 1 and Tier 2 prior to 2018 are both included in the retirement exclusion which is limited to 20K/24K and should not be because RRB benefits are not taxable and have their own exclusion line. This worksheet determines the amounts that should be removed from the pension exclusion and calculates the amount that should be added as the RRB benefits line on the State Return section of TaxSlayer. Although designed specifically for Colorado it may work for other states if the problem is the same.
TaxSlayer determines the taxable amount of the state tax refund based on sales tax and comparison with the standard deduction. If the taxpayer made estimated payments to the state or had negative taxable income (may show as 0), there may be a better solution. This calculator includes those other comparisons so you don't have to do the math. Taxability of other refunds, such as medical repayments, are also included and can be quite complex when considered when state tax refund is also present.
A worksheet for totalling income items, sales tax on large item purchases, and other information to be used with the IRS Sales Tax Calculator. See Pub 4012 (NTTC 12-28-2016 version), page F-6.1

Downloadable Tools for the PC (sorry, not Chromebook)
If you work at multiple sites, this downloadable executable remembers your login name or multiple names for each site. It can also open additional tabs to locations of your choice all with a single click. Defaults and options keep counselors from accidentally opening the production URL during the training period. (NOTE: Sorry, only works with Internet Explorer.)
Installation: Copy the executable in the zip file to your desktop.
V 3.10 - 11/2/2018 - very unelegant fix to login error problems. May not work well on older, slower PCs or slow networks. Won't work if command bar or favorites bar is open in IE.
This great tool, contributed by [a tax volunteer in Washington state], creates custom forms for training. Create them and then save them on your PC for later use and modification. Updated for tax year 2019, the zip file contains two installation files - one for Tax-Aide and one for VITA/TCE.
Installation: Copy the executable in the zip file to your desktop. When you run the executable, a new directory is created with the support files and a desktop icon is (optionally) added.