Filing taxes and managing finances are more convenient and less painful with the help of mobile applications for smartphones and tablet devices. Whether you are looking for a way to manage your finances year-round to make tax-time less consuming, seeking to file your taxes right from the device, or wanting to track down your refund status wherever you travel, we have some app recommendations for you.
Every year when I sit down to do my taxes, I make an April 14 resolution to keep my accounting and finances in order year-round. That way, I don't have to spend several hours on a beautiful, early spring weekend finding old bank statements in the drawer, and receipts scattered beneath the cushions of my couch. The one app that has a chance of keeping me financially organized for any length of time is Mint.com Personal Finance. This free, advertising-supported app tracks your bank and credit card accounts all in one place. If you file personal and business taxes, Mint.com is really helpful making sure your accounts are tracked separately. The app also includes the option of push notifications for major transactions and questionable fees, and advises you when you are spending more that a pre-set budget on certain expenses like fast food and bank fees. A great app any time of the year, Mint.com can make your tax season much more pleasant.
TurboTax SnapTax (iPhone, iPod Touch, Android: Free with subscription)
Designed for taxpayers who don't want to spend too much time with an accountant or in front of a computer in the early days of spring, TurboTax SnapTax is well, a snap. Simply take a photograph of your W2, upload it to the app, and you are just about done. Note that the app only accommodates the most simple of tax returns, and won't help you if you have children or dependents, own a home or make more than $100,000 annually. TurboTax Snap also has a tool that will estimate your tax refund and tracks the status of your return. TurboTax is developed by Intuit, which has several tax and accounting apps available for iOS and Android devices including Tax Caster and MyTaxRefund. With apps like TurboTax, there is no excuse for filing late this year.
H&R Block Mobile (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android: Free)
If you are loyal to H&R Block, or just want some free and easy tax advice as you put all of your information together, this app is nice to have in your pocket. Get answers to any tax-related question on-the-go, match your progress against a checklist, and even use the app to make a tax appointment and find an H&R Block location near you. And who wouldn't want a comprehensive tax glossary wherever they travel? Like SnapTax, this app also helps you track down the status of your federal refund.
While some may find the idea of being joined at the hip with the IRS wherever you travel to be disconcerting, this official app developed by the Internal Revenue Service gives you tax tips and rules directly from the source. Not sure if that business lunch you had last month is worthy of a write-off, or how to calculate gas and commuting mileage information into your filings? This app has all the answers and is designed to keep you honest. As well, there is a list of aggregated resources from the IRS across the web, the IRS Twitter feed, and email newsletters. And, of course, you can tap into this app to check out the status of your refund check.
Shoeboxed Receipt Tracker and Receipt Reader (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android: Free)
Throw out your inefficient receipt shoebox and exchange it for this fee app, which lets you take pictures of receipts with your smartphone or tablet and file them later for review.