by Carolyn Rothwell on April 6, 2018

Additional Features of TOTAL's 2018 Tax Update

While TOTAL's 2018 tax update focused on ensuring tax law changes were built into the financial planning software, additional noteworthy changes are available in the most recent version.  

Updated Retirement Plan Limits

The 2% cost-of-living index drove annual inflation adjustments for the 2018 tax year for most retirement plan contribution limits, but it was not enough to bump up the contribution limits for IRAs / Roth IRAs.  

Increased Social Security Benefit Estimates 

Benefit payouts increased by 2% for 2018, raising the average benefit by about $27 a month, the largest bump in five years. Those working while receiving Social Security benefits can earn a small amount more this year, with income limits increased by $120/yr for those under FRA and by $480/yr for those reaching FRA in 2018. The maximum earnings subject to Social Security taxation increased 1.01%, from $127,200 to $128,700.

Investment Earnings on Cash Flow Detail Reports

Investment earnings on the cash flow detail pages, including the Current Year Cash Flow, Future Year Cash Flow, and 10 Year Cash Flow reports in Golden Years and Easy Money has changed. 

In the prior versions, interest, dividends, and capital gain earnings on Taxable, Equity/Other and Tax-Free assets displayed as income, and a corresponding reinvestment of the account earnings displayed as an expense. Investment earnings are no longer shown as income or as a reinvestment expense. 

The exception to this rule is if interest, dividends and capital gains are designated to be taken in cash. If investment earnings are set to be taken in cash, the amounts will be included as income. 

The option to take account earnings in cash is available on the Rate Changes tab. The Rate Changes tab is located in the Asset section of the online edition, and the Asset Summary section of the desktop edition. Check the "Cash Payout" box for Taxable, Equity/Other and/or Tax-Free asset types. 


This change aligns the treatment of investment account earnings between the cash flow detail reports and the Cash Flow Illustration.  

Report Section Bookmarks (Online Edition)

The report PDFs from the online edition now include report section bookmarks, mirroring the helpful and timing saving function available in the desktop edition.


Bookmarks are available when PDF documents are opened in Acrobat Reader or Adobe Acrobat.  Browser settings control if PDF documents open directly in the browser or in Acrobat. 

Report Limit Increase (Desktop Edition)

If you plan with the desktop edition, you have likely run into the message saying you have reached the report limit after leaving two reports open and attempting to generate a third.  The number of reports that can be open in the desktop edition has double so four reports to be open at once. 


Updated Stock/Mutual Fund Price Provider 

Yahoo discontinued the Stock/Mutual fund service used in TOTAL, making the stock price function temporarily unavailable.  TOTAL is now connected to a new provider and is once again able to get the latest prices for stocks, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds.  

Assets can be tied to a symbol, allowing the price to be updated by clicking the update stock prices button in the Asset section. 


Do you have a question for our support team?  

Simply call toll free 877.421.9815 ext 0 or send a support request for assistance.

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Carolyn Rothwell

Carolyn enjoys spending her time building Money Tree Software's brand and products. Her experience creating and delivering financial plans for a full-service financial planning firm and supporting advisors working to provide the best planning to their clients as a Money Tree support member has provided an excellent understanding of the importance of financial planning.