Top 10 apps to help you with your taxes
Trying to do your own taxes this year? If so, these 10 awesome apps will make April 15 just a little less stressful.
We don't often think of the IRS as being helpful, but in this case, they are. This free app is available for download on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Android devices and can be used in English or Spanish. IRS2GO allows you to check your refund status and request tax records with an encrypted Social Security number. But our favorite feature is the Stay Connected — you can access YouTube videos from the IRS channel, follow the IRS on Twitter, get email updates or contact them. If you qualify, they can even help you find an IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistant. (iTunes or Google Play, Free)
Mint.com is an awesome online tool that helps you out with your personal finances and budgeting. It syncs with stuff like your credit cards and bank account to help you keep up with what's really going on with your money. Mint has a cool feature that tracks and categorizes everything you do with a credit or debit card, but you can also tag things manually if you like.
The Mint app, which is available on iPhone, iPad and Android phones and tablets, uses these categorizing features to help you track purchases that are tax-deductible and sort them by type of expense. (iTunes and Google Play, Free)
The iDonatedIt app lets you check the approximate value of items you're donating based on age and condition, then snap a photo to keep with the digital record. Then when you're doing your taxes, you can just pull out your app instead of digging through your bag of receipts. You can even email the receipt to your accountant. (iTunes, $3)
A lot of the available apps, many of them paid, are a little more than many people even need. If so, you might check out the free Expensify personal account. Just sign up on the website and download the app to get almost all the same features you would with paid apps or services. The app is available on most major mobile platforms. (Expensify, Free)
Evernote is an organizational phenom that can be used to help you organize pretty much your whole life: recipes, how-tos, articles you want to read later and more. But in conjunction with a receipt scanner, it becomes a powerful tool to keep your taxes organized all year. Just scan or take pictures of receipts to push into Evernote, and you can tag them and make additional notes to help yourself remember the little details we often forget by tax time. It's available as a computer app and on your phone or tablet. (Evernote, Free)
This iPhone app is an amazing little receipt organizer. Just take a pic of your paper receipt to save it as a tax-deductible expense. It automatically saves all your e-receipts. If you spend a lot of time on the road where even a portable scanner can be clunky, you've got to invest in OneReceipt. You get a free OneReceipt.com e-mail address to send your e-receipts to, and it sends you a monthly spending report. Additionally, it can alert you about shipping on packages you buy online. If you don't have an iPhone, you can still email yourself the receipts you take with your other smartphone. (iTunes, Free)
Ask a CPA
If you already had a CPA, you wouldn't be reading this article, right? This clever little app gives you a way to look up plain-English explanations of the terms you'll come across when doing your taxes. Can't find the answer? Ask the app, which will give a local CPA the chance to answer it directly. If you give up, it can even recommend a CPA near you. Ask a CPA is available on Apple mobile devices. (iTunes, Free)
H&R Block app Suite
HRB offers several apps to help you research and file your taxes, and all of them are free! One app just helps you start preparing and keeps you connected to an HRB representative if you decide to hire a pro. Still another one helps you file EZ forms with ease. They're available for Apple mobile devices and Android. (iTunes or Google Play, Free)
Many of the apps we've already mentioned organize your receipts, but Shoeboxed takes it one step further — it scans them in and OCRs and categorizes them for you. OCR is optical character recognition. Instead of your receipts just being pictures, they'll contain usable data the app can read and use. Data can be exported to Evernote and more. (Shoeboxed, Free)
How many times have you filed your taxes then remembered three things you bought online that would've been tax-deductible? No more! Slice tracks your receipts (and your packages for that matter), so when tax season comes, you can just go through your app to find all your deductible purchases. It's available for Apple and Android devices and online. (Slice, Free)