Whether you’re an employee or a self-employed business owner, filing your taxes can be a pain.
However, filing last minute is a bad idea as you could miss out on various deductions and payment dates. By using tools, you can create budgeting and bookkeeping habits that will help you with your income tax and reduce your stress during tax time.
10 Incredible Apps You’ll Need for Tax FilingWhen it comes to filing your taxes, it’s much easier to plan as you go instead of completing your bookkeeping in April. Here are 10 tools that make tax filing simple throughout the year.
- Income Tax Calculator (Free)KeeperTax calculator is an income tax calculator that calculates your W-2 and 1099 income. If you’re a freelancer or sole-proprietor, this calculator can help you put money away for next year's tax season or inform you what quarterly payments you need to make if they apply to you.
- Online Hiring Sites (Free-$100 an Hour)If you’re self-employed, have rental income, or bought and sold stocks, it’s a good idea to hire a tax professional. While a professional service will be more expensive, you could uncover tax breaks that other online tools may not find. You could save thousands per year this way.
- Tax-Preparation Services (Free-$70 an Hour)Although the IRS typically offers their free tax-preparation services in-person only, they have been expanding their offering to an online portal. Whether this continues after the pandemic is unclear. If it doesn’t, you can still pay for a tax-preparation service online through job sites.
- Student Loan or Tuition Payments (Free-$40)H&R Block's free online tool is perfect for calculating student loan interest and higher-education tuition and fees, which are valuable deductions most business owners can make. If you also plan on doing a basic return (like a W-2), this tool can help you prepare and file your forms.
- All-in-One Tax Tool (Free-$64.95 Per State Filed)Tools like TaxAct Express have a robust free package (not including the cost to file your return) that includes W-2 income for simple filers, unemployment, child tax credits, and more. These tools can really help you make the most of your deductions, retirement income, and credits.
- Self-Employment Tax Tool (Free-$17 a Month)QuickBooks has two handy tools most self-employed business owners should use: QuickBooks Self-Employed and Online. If you don’t sell a lot of products, self-employed can allow you to send and track invoices, while online is perfect for large operations and inventory tracking.
- Online Budgeting Tools (Free-$40+ a Month) Tools like Mint and Personal Capital will link to your financial accounts and give you real-time information about your accounts. With these tools, you can track your progress towards retirement goals, pay down your debts, and manage your investments for a small service fee.
- Spending Limit Tool (Free) Buxfer and tools like it are helpful for setting monthly spending limits, which can help you save money for your taxes. You can set up mobile alerts and auto-tags to inform you if you exceed your budget. Buxfer can also remind you about upcoming bills or automatic payments.
- Customizable Spread-Sheet Tool ($4.95 a Month) If you’re new to budgeting or get easily overwhelmed by tracking your finances, PearBudget can help. With its easy-to-use spreadsheet-based system and customization tools, you can make a budget that you can stick to. All you need is 20 minutes a week to keep your budget organized.
- Virtual Filing Cabinet Apps ($2-$5 a Month) While you could put all of your tax filing information on your desktop, you could leave yourself open to hackers. FileThis allows users to store and categorize documents by making them easy to find during tax time. Thanks to its cloud storage capabilities, you can store your files securely