There aren’t many tasks in life more annoying, confusing, stressful and overwhelming, than tax season. As someone who used to file taxes for a living and interacts with CPA’s on a daily basis, I’m always looking for ways to simplify this process.
Thanks to technology there are apps available that can make tax season a little less daunting! Plus, you can keep track of your income, expenses and receipts year-round, to make the most dreaded time of year a little less painful.
Here are the top ten tax apps to keep you organized on the go.
1. H&R Block
Do you have a simple return and a few minutes? File your 1040EZ and state return for free with H&R Block 1040EZ tax app. The Smart Import feature allows you to take a picture of your W-2 for instant import of your income values.
The H&R Block app automatically reviews your return for errors and omissions, and the maximum refund is guaranteed! This app is available for both iPhone and Android devices, and is free to download.
IRS2Go allows you to interact with the IRS via your mobile phone. (Don’t be scared, the IRS really isn’t that bad!)
This app gives you access to daily tax tips — in plain English — and information on the newest tax legislation as it’s released.
You can also securely check the status of your refund or request a copy of your tax return and/or account transcript. IRS2Go is available free for both iPhone and Android devices.
3. TurboTax SnapTax
If you have a simple tax return and a complicated schedule, TurboTax SnapTax is a great option! It allows you to file your return on the go, in about ten minutes.
SnapTax is for those individuals whose only income sources are W-2, interest, and/or unemployment, don’t own a home, and earned under $100k or $120k for single or married filers respectively.
W-2 import is easy, just snap a picture and your income information will populate. The app is available for free for both iPhone and Android devices — however, the actual electronic filing of your federal and state returns will cost $24.95.
4. Outright (now GoDaddy Bookkeeping)
Do you own a small business? If you do, you know that it’s a round-the-clock job and the last thing you want to do is spend hours and hours going through paperwork at tax time.
Outright has been my godsend — it organizes all of your business finances in one place, links up your accounts from eBay, PayPal, credit cards, bank accounts, Amazon, Etsy, etc., and tracks what you’re making, spending, and who’s buying from you.
Ouright, aka GoDaddy Bookkeeping, gives you constant access to your profit and loss information, automatically calculates your quarterly tax payments and pre-populates your Schedule C information.
This will give you more time to work on the important stuff, like growing your business and building relationships with your customers. It’s a free download and available for iPhone (although the premium version is $99 per year).
If you’re still keeping receipts in a shoebox, it’s time to get with the program! Shoeboxed Receipt Tracker and Receipt Reader stores and organizes receipts for you.
Simply take a picture and this app will determine the date, total, type of payment, and category — it’s pretty nifty! The receipt will be saved as a digitized copy accepted by the IRS.
Plus, you can easily export your expenses to popular financial applications including QuickBooks, Quicken, and Excel. Shoeboxed also generates and emails your expense reports in just a few seconds. This app is free to download for iPhone users.
Do you ever worry that you haven’t claimed everything you could have on your tax return? It makes sense, many people without extensive tax knowledge can forget to include a deduction or two.
Slice syncs with your email inbox to pull information from your e-receipts and organize them all in one place. How does this help you come tax time?
Slice instantly helps you find deductions and receipts that you forgot about — things like textbook purchases, small business expenses, and travel expenses.
It then presents you with a list that you can browse through or export to a .CSV file. Slice is free to download and available for iPhone, Android and on the web.
7. Trip Cubby
Whether you are traveling for business, medical, or charitable purposes, it can be hard to remember to write down your mileage. With Trip Cubby, track your mileage quickly and easily with predictive input and a record of past trips.
This information can be generated into Excel-compatible email reports for expense purposes and marked as paid or unpaid as you receive reimbursement, or wait to file with the IRS.
Trip Cubby is available for $2.99 for iPhone, but what if you want to claim your gas and maintenance expenses? Trip Cubby has a sister app called…
8. Gas Cubby
Who can remember to hit “Yes” for a receipt at the pump every time? Not me. Enter Gas Cubby — the ultimate tracking app for gas and maintenance expenses.
This app keeps track of all your car related expenses, the gas price, number of gallons, oil changes, tire rotations, etc. It even reminds you when your car is due for maintenance!
Your records can be easily exported to Excel for tax purposes and Gas Cubby can keep records for multiple vehicles at once. It is available for iPhone for $2.99.
9. TaxCaster by TurboTax
TaxCaster is the quick and easy way to estimate your tax refund or tax due so you can adjust withholdings or take action to lower your tax liability if necessary.
The app also refers you to the TurboTax product that would best suit your particular tax situation. TaxCaster is free to download and available for both iPhone and Android devices.
You’ve donated a few items here and there throughout the year, but you just can’t remember what they were and what they were worth. iDonatedIt is an easy to use app to keep track of all your non-cash charitable contributions.
This app tracks the date of donation, the items donated, the charity you donated to, and the fair market values of your contributions.
iDonatedIt even allows you to attach a picture of the donated item to your record. At the end of the year just email the comprehensive list to yourself or your accountant for tax purposes. The app is $2.99 and available for iPhone users.
If you want an alternative to Trip Cubby, try MileBug. It lets you track trips by Business, Destination, and Purpose and set presets each of those items for quick entry. If you need to track rates for the standard tax deduction, you can setup reimbursement rates for each trip.
It will automatically start the next trip from the last known odometer reading, which saves you time. It’s available for $2.99 on iPhone, Android and Windows applications.