The Quest for a Tax Refund: Use Mobile Apps for Tax Prep

You can organize your taxes with a little help from mobile apps. Here comes the tax refund!

One of the best ways to ensure that you get the maximum tax refund (if you’re into getting an IRS refund) is to better organize your taxes. Because we live in a digital world, you can keep on top of things with the help of mobile apps.

Tax Refund Mobile Apps

I recently had an exchange with Lauren Scherr, who works with mobile apps, and shared some ideas for using the following three apps to keep your documents organized this tax season:

  1. Slice - Slice (available for iPhone, Android and on the Web) syncs with your email inbox to pull information from your e-receipts and organize them all in a single, easy-to-access record of past purchases. Since it keeps a record of everything you’ve ever bought online (or via e-receipts), it can instantly help you find deductions and receipts you might have lost or forgotten about this year – think textbooks, small business expenses, travel. Slice then presents your purchases in an easily browsable list + stores your receipts for you, so you can print them out or take a screenshot for your records, and even allows you to download and export purchase data to a .csv file.
  2. Evernote - Evernote manages personal finance docs like a dream, leading to an organized, paperless tax process. For taxes, Evernote is great for: scanning and saving documents(like receipts and financial statements); saving logins for tax services, or contact info for tax professionals/accountants you work with; organizing all information – stick everything into Evernote and organize it by notebook or tag to easily group all relevant info; sharing household tax information with your spouse or partner - if you want to scan a W-2 from work into Evernote from the office, and your husband wants to email a couple of investment statements in from his laptop, Evernote’s shared notebooks can handle this activity and keep it organized; and lastly, finding last year’s information quickly and easily. Their incredible text-recognition technology, makes the text in the documents searchable - even hand-written text (great for invoices).
  3. Mint - Mint’s integration with TurboTax makes filing itself a breeze. Best of all, Mint offers smart financial advice such as high-yield savings accounts or CDs where that big refund can earn you even more money – or offer saving and budget-trimming advice if you end up owing Uncle Sam in the end and are worried the initial hit may be unmanageable.

Better Organization = Easier Tax Time

The way you organize your finances can make a big difference come tax time. While these mobile apps make it easy to keep track of information you can use to boost your tax refund, you don’t have to have a smart phone to stay on top of things. I have a file that I keep throughout the year, filing items away as I receive them. Then it’s just a matter of light organizational work before I head to the accountant.

No matter how you do it, though, better organization can save you time, and ensure that you have everything you need to keep your tax bill smaller (or even see an IRS refund). The better organized you are at tax time, the more deductions and credits you will see, and the faster the whole process will go.

photo by: Johan Larsson

Written by Miranda Marquit

Miranda Marquit is a freelance writer and professional blogger, specializing in personal finance, small business, and investing topics. She writes for a number of financial web sites and blogs, and has been featured in numerous media. Read about life as a freelancer at MirandaMarquit.com and in her book Confessions of a Professional Blogger.

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