Whatever degree of complexity your tax situation may involve, there are a wealth of apps on the market that can make the entire process far less painful and time-consuming. While some taxpayers simply use mobile apps to check the status of their tax refunds, others are turning to them for more robust tax-related needs. Not only is it now possible to file a return via mobile app, but your smartphone can also be used to streamline tedious tasks, easily track expenses, eliminate paperwork and even consult qualified tax professionals. For those seeking a less-stressful tax season, we’ve highlighted a few you might want to consider:
Track receipts and expenses with Shoeboxed: This app for both iPhone and Android is useful for a number of purposes, but it’s especially popular among those that need a way to get a handle on overwhelming piles of paper receipts. Since 1997, the IRS has accepted scanned and digital images of receipts as valid records for tax purposes, as long as they are accurate and can be readily stored, preserved, retrieved and reproduced. Using optical character recognition (OCR), Shoeboxed enables you to use your smartphone as a scanner, and then categorize and file your receipts right in the app. It also comes with a mileage tracker and business card feature, and allows you to create exportable reports. This app offers plans at varied price points, starting with a free version.
Find you refund status with the IRS2GO app: Available free for both iOS and Android, this official mobile app from the IRS can connect you to free tax assistance in your local area and enable you to easily check the status of your federal refund. It also provides tips and the latest news on tax legislation. Have a fairly simple and straightforward tax situation? You can directly access free tax software from the app to quickly file your return and get your refund. Find details at www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs2goapp.
Track your mileage and more with Hurdlr: Convenient apps like MileIQ and TripLog are certainly viable options when it comes to automatically logging your mileage for taxes or expense reports, and both even allow you to use the services for free for a limited number of trips or for a short time period. But they aren’t your only choices when it comes to a simple way to record your miles for business trips or medical purposes. Another excellent one to try is Hurdlr, which automatically tracks all of your mileage, expenses, income streams and tax deductions in real-time on the go. To learn more, check out what The College Investor has to say about the app.
Organize charitable deductions with ItsDeductible: Provided by TurboTax, this app for iOS provides an efficient and easy way to track your donations year-round, and even offers accurate values for your itemized deductions. In addition, your data can be automatically synchronized for easy import into your TurboTax software. For non-cash donations, the website Careful Cents also suggests iDonatedIt (iOS only), which allows you to attach photos for documentation.
Get answers from tax advising apps: If you’re looking for an easy-to-use app that addresses a broad range of common tax questions, U.S. News & World Report recommends either the “Ask a CPA” or the “Ask a Tax Preparer” app. Both apps contain current information on standard deductions, mileage rates, Health Savings Accounts and more. Just a word of caution: they may require you to abide by their marketing terms and are probably “best for people who aren't worried about how their information will be used.”
Check out the apps from your tax prep software: According to Money Talk News, TurboTax, H&R Block and TaxAct Express all offer mobile apps that can be used to file your taxes. Just keep in mind that in most cases, filing via app is preferable for those with relatively uncomplicated returns. You simply snap a photo of your tax forms, verify your data, and the platform automatically fills in the forms for you.
Considering filing your taxes with the help of tax preparation software this tax season? As a member of SFPCU, don’t forget that you have access to special discounts on a number of products and services, including TurboTax Federal Deluxe. TurboTax guides first-time users through the process, and can help you get your important tax questions answered. Get you refund in as few as eight days when you e-file with TurboTax and use direct deposit. Find details at http://bit.ly/SpecialDiscountsSFPCU.