These apps will help you to prepare and even file your taxes with a minimum of stress.
Nobody really likes filing their taxes, but it’s that time of year. If you haven’t filed your taxes (and you should have) these apps will help you to get the job done. They can also help you to stay on top of things during the off-season so that you are ready for next year!
So grab your 1040 and let’s go get that refund! Maybe.
Updated, April 18, 2017: We’ve updated our list of apps for 2017.
TurboTax Tax Preparation
We’ve recommended this app before, with plenty of good reason, TurboTax Tax Preparation app can sync with your TurboTax account so that you can fill out the question-by-question tax preparation throughout your busy day. It’s also helpful if you need to go spelunking for more forms in the black hole formerly known as the family office. You may not fill out your entire return here, but at least you can keep going even if you get dragged away from the computer.
Quickbooks Self Employed
We’re living in a world where being a freelancer, or owning your own small business is more common than ever. When you aren’t dealing with a tradition W2 to file, and especially if you have multiple lines of income, this is a great way to keep track of everything you have going on.
You can store your receipts, get help with tracking mileage, and even get quarterly updates on your taxes so you know what to expect in April. It also syncs up with Turbo Tax, and is an app we suggest keeping installed year round so that your taxes are as stress free as possible.
If you haven’t been using a personal finance app all year, it’s too late for this return, but maybe the sting from this year will be enough to actually get you into the habit of using an app like Mint. Mint is made by the same company as TurboTax and it’s a simple way to both keep an eye on your budget and maintain a trail of where you spent money over the year for things like — you guessed it — your tax return. Whether you’re saving your way towards that down payment on your first home or you’re just trying to make sure you’ve got enough left over for whatever new phone/tablet/game/toy you’ll be dying to buy on launch day, Mint can help you make it happen.
If you think you’re more likely to face an audit, or even if you’re just looking to get all these documents somewhere easier to sort and access, then think about scanning your documents to a folder in Google Drive for this year’s tax return. This way, you can click it, save it, and move on. Drive can also prove useful as you can make lists of deductions you did and didn’t take and keep it in that same folder.
H&R Block 1040EZ
If you qualify to file a 1040Ez instead of a more lengthy and complicated return — and keep in mind that just because you can file a 1040Ez instead doesn’t mean that’s the one you should file to get all the money back you can — then H&R Block has an app just for you. It even allows you to import your W-2 by taking a picture, simplifying input even more. State selection for your local returns is automatic and based off your address now, so if you get income from another state, you’ll need to look elsewhere, but that shouldn’t be an issue for most folks.
The IRS is who you’re sending your tax return to, so it might help if you saw the tips they give out to help maximize your refund, streamline the process, and get you done with your taxes so they can get done with them, too. The IRS2Go app can also help you track your refund once it’s submitted, so you’ll know when it’s processed, and when that refund should be landing in your direct deposit account.
If your taxes are getting to be too much for you, the IRS2Go app also provides a handy directory of local tax prep offices that you can turn to for help, especially if you qualify for free tax prep. It can also help you to set up a payment plan if it looks like you owe more in taxes than you can afford to pay right now.
Google Play Music
Finances can be frustrating. Math can be frustrating. Add in the threat of possible penalties or not getting all of your money back if you mess up, and it’s no wonder you’ve waited this long to do your taxes. It’s just too stressful! So put on some tunes to help keep you calm, keep you focused, and remind you to take breaks every now and again. And even if you don’t have All Access, the Instant Mix feature will mix a playlist from the songs in your own collection based on a song, artist, or album and keep you jamming out through your tax prep.
Are you using these apps?
Taxes are pretty much always a stressful process, no matter how used to them you actually are. Thankfully the days of having to do everything on paper are past us, and these apps can help you to streamline that process. Whether that means using them to track your expenses so you avoid surprised, or just to keep track of when your refund hits, they can be a serious help in reducing your stress levels.
Are you using any of these apps? Is there a good one that we failed to mention? Be sure to drop us a line in the comments and let us know about it!