If there's one thing we can all rely on in life, it's taxes. Although they are inevitable, technology has made it easier than ever to manage our finances and prepare and file taxes.
Apps like these ones below help you get organized, get in control of your tax documents, and even file your taxes right from the app.
1. IRS2Go (iOS, Android)
The official mobile app of the IRS is great for new business owners who want verified and expert tax advice right from the source. With IRS2Go, you can check the status of your federal income tax refund, make a payment on any taxes that you end up owing, and get free tax preparation assistance from an IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistant in your area. You can also request tax return information and account transcripts through the app.
2. H&R Block Tax Prep and File (iOS, Android)
The H&R Block Tap Prep app conveniently lets you prepare and file your taxes anywhere. Just tap to upload your tax return or take a photo of your W-2 and the app will import all the relevant information. You can finish filing your tax return right from the app or if you prefer, switch between a computer and tablet. If you need help at any time, H&R Block has tax experts readily available to assist.
3. TurboTax (iOS, Android)
Intuit's TurboTax walks you through the process of filing your taxes. You snap a photo of your tax documents and the app coaches you through every step of the filing process, double-checking to ensure that you have entered all information correctly. You can be connected with an expert live and on-screen to get answers as soon as you need them and when you input all of your information, it is saved with secure encryption and always password protected. TurboTax also checks for deductions and credits, and once your return arrives, it gets stored in the TurboTax Cloud. TurboTax is free to download, but there are costs for federal and state filing.
4. TaxACT Express (iOS, Android)
TaxAct Express rolled out its enhanced mobile app to further simplify the tax-filing process for its customers. The app, which is also available on tablets, personalizes and streamlines the process of completing and filing tax returns. The app's built-in W-2 capture functionality makes it easy to import tax information into your return. In addition, 3D Touch technology within the TaxAct Express app allows customers to find answers to questions they may have. For example, customers who do not know how to identify dependents can tap "dependents" to get guidance.
5. TaxCaster by TurboTax (iOS, Android)
This income tax calculator by Intuit allows you to accurately forecast your federal income taxes before you file to see how much you may get back, or how much you may owe. Just enter the basic information about your lifestyle and business, and TaxCaster will make the estimations based on that information. Since this is an Intuit product, the app uses the same tax calculator you'll find in the desktop version of TurboTax to provide the estimates. It can also recommend a product to help you complete the filing process.
6. Evernote (iOS, Android)
Evernote is more than just your run-of-the-mill note-taking tool. It also offers a way to manage the documents you'll need to file your taxes. Because Evernote lets you easily store and organize images, you can scan in your receipts and then trash them, and since the app can read printed text, it's easy to search for a specific receipt.
To get your receipts into Evernote, there are two options: The $419 ScanSnap scanner is the pricier option, but it is made by the Evernote developer, so it will directly scan high-quality images and automatically uploads them to your Evernote account. For a cheaper option, there is the DocScanner app for iOS and Android, which you can use to "scan" in receipts by snapping a photo with your smartphone or tablet.
7. iDonatedIt (iOS)
Charitable donations are tax-deductible expenses that can ultimately lower your tax bill. Tracking your donations throughout the year can be a hassle, but apps like iDonatedIt are there to help. This $2.99 app streamlines the process by helping you document your donations quickly and easily. Whenever you donate a non-cash item to charity, use the app to track the donation date, the charity you donated to and the fair-market value of the item. By tax day, you will have a complete and permanent record of donated items that meets IRS compliance requirements. You can also attach photos of donated items and email the detailed donation report to yourself or an accountant.
8. MrOwl (iOS, Android)
MrOwl is a social platform that will help users save time and money as they get ready to file their taxes. The app allows you to easily organize documents, notes and important resources and websites into topic "branches." Information is curated by the user. By keeping up with your branch year-round with receipts and other forms, you will be fully prepped when tax time comes. In addition, you can have the option of keeping the branch private and allow your accountant to have access to it as an editor.
9. Hurdlr Expense and Mileage Tracker (iOS, Android)
Hurdlr is one of the most popular apps for entrepreneurs and small business owners that has an accounting and tax component. The app helps track your business profit and tax estimate throughout the year by automatically linking with your bank to import earnings and deductible expenses. Hurdlr also includes an easy-to-use automatic mileage tracker to capture valuable mileage deductions in real-time. When you're ready to file taxes, just generate a spreadsheet report from Hurdlr containing all your organized financial data, rather than spending countless hours at the end of the year sorting through receipts. Hurdlr offers live one-on-one chat support during normal business hours.
Additional reporting by Jennifer Post.
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