So H&R Block’s TaxCut software comes with a web-based separate app for handling deductions. It’s a straight-forward application but doesn’t have much in the way of external file importation support. Enter a good text editor.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, DeductionPro will only allow for the most basic recurring cash donation entry. For instance, I can add donations based on weekly, daily, monthly, and bi-monthly recurrence. But what about quarterly? What about x-number of days between? As such, it makes for a lot of hand entry, if you’re recurrence schedule is not included.
So I did some snooping with the program’s pseudo-XML user file format. It’s fairly easy to interpret. Here’s a snippet of the relevant charity entry:
<Contribution organization="Sample Charity">
<Event contribDate="04/Feb/2010"><Entry ZX="1" amount="400" benefit="0.00" date="#DATE#" donType="MoneyDonation" organization="#ORG#" payMethod="Check"/></Event>
Note the line in red. this is the important charity entry. If you have multiple entries, duplicate that line.
Rather than be content with the alternative of hand entering a block of quarterly, irregular donation amounts by hand, I saw the benefit in hacking this XML for a more automated import. I fired up my financial software 1 and exported last year’s donations to a particular charity in CSV format. Next, condition that a bit in a spreadsheet. Then open that in my favorite text editor 2. The do some block select to get your date and amount columns. Paste and voila!
A sample DeductionPro saved file is included for you hacking joy.