Tools to Make Taxes Easier
The transition from Winter to Spring is usually one of celebration. The flowers and trees are in full bloom, the temperature has been restored to a reasonable, non-lethal level, and that thing we call the Sun has returned to its rightful place in the sky. But for many Americans, the spring months can be a time of stress thanks to that important, yet pesky thing we call taxes. Yes, that’s right – it’s time to bust out those receipts and calculators and prepare to file your W2s. But thanks to a host of helpful tech tools, April 15th doesn’t need to be a day of worry. Check out these helpful apps and programs to make sure you breeze into Spring without much more to worry about than where to get your tan on.
For those of us who can’t be bothered to organize, or for those who simply want to be more earth-friendly, Shoebox works by digitally organizing your receipts in one convenient location: your phone. After scanning the documentation, the app will categorize by filter such as amount, location, vendor, and payment method. The app does so by using a optical character recognition, meaning it can interpret a scanned receipt’s information and fill it into an expense report automatically. Shoeboxed also has a dual function as a business tax application. It can track things like credit card usage and mileage, meaning an easier process when it comes to writing off the right things as you go.
Similarly to Shoeboxed, this app will allow you to keep a digital record of your expenses that can be shared with an advisor or CPA come tax season. However, this app also allows you to manage your spending throughout the year, helping to give you a snapshot of what sort of return you can expect. As an added bonus, you can use it to budget by linking with your bank account and creating limits on spending based on categories of your choosing. You can even track investments and stock portfolios using the app or browser platform, whichever makes you feel more at ease with your finances.
Probably the most well known of the bunch, Turbo Tax allows you to digitally file your taxes and makes claims to maximize your return above all others. You’ll be able to connect virtually with a specialist who will share screens with you and answer all questions along the way; you can upload a photo of your W2 and avoid filling out any annoying additional forms; and the questions they ask are all simple and easy to understand. And all of this is backed by TurboTax’s guarantee to receive an accurate and highest-possible tax return. If any penalty is incurred from either the state or federal level, TurboTax will pay you the fine and the interest, in full. Additionally, they’ll cover any difference should you find a higher refund through another tax service.
The tax season can sometimes be a period of dread and concern. However, you can keep those feelings at bay by getting prepared and paying your taxes on time. Any one of the above tools can help you along the way, but maybe you have your own helpful tricks, tips, or services? Let us know in the comment section below!