How to Use OTS:

After downloading the package for your platform and unpacking, see the 0_Readme.txt file for running instructions. You can use OTS either from the Graphical User Interface (OTS_GUI), or directly from your command-line in text-mode. To use the GUI, invoke Run_taxsolve_GUI in the top level directory.

The GUI is fairly self-explanatory:

  1. Select a tax program and form-data file,
  2. Fill-out fields,
  3. Click Compute Taxes, and,
  4. Print your taxes, so that you can fill your numbers onto the forms.

Alternatively, you can edit the form-data file directly with your favorite text editor, and then invoke the tax programs from your command-line. Some of the other sections focus on direct text-mode usage of OTS, as well as how it operates.

Most line entries consist of:

	Line-label:	numeric-values ;    { comments }
The line-label ensures the values are read into the correct variable. The numeric-values may include commas for placeholders (example: 27,384.00). Multiple numeric-values may be entered before the semicolon (;), which can be entered on separate lines for readability. If multiple values are entered for a given entry, they will be automatically added together for that line entry.

Example:

	L7:	47,230.10	{ My W2 }
		12,082.35 ;	{  Spouse's W2 }
	L9:	   613.00	{ Bank interest }
		    41.99	{  Credit Union  }
		   115.03	{  Savings account }
			  ;

Capital Gains/Losses are Recorded as:

	buy_cost	date
	sale_value	date
Date is mm-dd-yy, where mm is the two-digit month, dd is the day, and yy is the last two digits of the year. (Yes, this is Y2K proof.)

Example:

        -3658.22        12-15-99        { 100 Shares XOM }
         4209.95         1-25-02
The dates are required to apply the proper short-term or long-term capital gains rates on Federal taxes, but are not required for State tax forms.

The US Fed 1040, version includes the Schedule-A for itemized deductions, Schedule-B for interest, and Schedule-D for capital gains calculations, as well as the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) worksheet calculations. Schedule-C for business taxes, is also provided as a separate program. Versions for several State Income Taxes, including California, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, Virginia, Massachusetts, and North Carolina are included. As other forms are contributed, they will be posted.



Return to OpenTaxSolver Home

.