Still haven’t completed your 2010 taxes? No worries with these iPhone apps

Feb 7, 2011
Tech

With less than one week to go before 2011 taxes are due (that’s right, we have until April 18 this year), procrastinators can breathe easy with the help of several iPhone apps that can walk them through the process. Between a few sessions of Angry Birds and taking in a few ballgames on MLB at […]

With less than one week to go before 2011 taxes are due (that’s right, we have until April 18 this year), procrastinators can breathe easy with the help of several iPhone apps that can walk them through the process.

Between a few sessions of Angry Birds and taking in a few ballgames on MLB at Bat 11, pencil in these apps that can help you obtain write-offs and download them to the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

This year we are encouraging you to get started early so you aren’t rushing to the post office in the waning hours of April 18 (yes, it has been moved to the 18th). And with the help of the following iPhone apps, the crunching of numbers and the filling-out of the forms will amount to little more than a brief interlude from other, more pleasant activities.

Tax deadlines have a funny way of sneaking up on people unexpectedly, leaving would-be filers in a panic. The iTaxMama app (free) is a very simple tax-related calendar that will help you stay on top of basic deadlines, as well as extensions.

During the course of the year you make write small (or large) checks to your alma mater or your church with the intention of including it in your tax deductions. It is easy to forget about this contributions, but the iDonatedIt app ($2.99) ensures that no dollar will go unreported. The app helps you to record all such donations, and includes a feature that allows you to snap and store a photo of the check, so there is no flipping back through old check stubs.

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The Dr. Taxes app ($1.99) is helpful in that it answers the 100 most frequently asked tax-related questions. It also fills users in on what changes have taken place in tax law since the previous year.

If you are looking for a quick estimate of what you owe the IRS this time around, try Intuit’s TaxCaster Mobile. This free app will prompt you with a half-dozen basic questions, such as income, marital status and possible deductions. The app then produces a figure representing what you owe, or what you can expect to receive in the form of a return. The app only allows you to enter dollar amounts rounded to the nearest thousand, so it is not exact, but is good for a rough figure.

Among the best tax-related iPhone apps available is Tax Central app from H&R Block (free). The app has some of the same features as TaxCaster, but is much more detailed and precise. In addition to helping you estimate your taxes, it also includes a handy checklist to make sure you don’t forget any important steps. It also includes an office locator, in case you do prefer to speak to someone face-to-face.

For the self-employed, or for those who work on a freelance basis, calculating taxes can be even more complicated. We recommend the Contractor, Freelancer, Small Business Tax Calculator (free) to keep you in the good graces of the IRS. Enter your hourly or daily rate and it automatically calculates what you have to pay out in taxes.

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Of course, it is never too early to plan ahead for next year. And who wouldn’t like to pay less taxes? The Lower Your Taxes Guide app ($1.99) provides tips to share dollars off next year’s bill. Now if only we could find an app that would guarantee a nice fat return.

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Megan O'Neil

Megan O'Neil is a journalist and freelance writer in Los Angeles. When she isn't lounging at the beach or socializing in the Hollywood Hills, she writes for the Park Labrea New/Beverly Press newspaper and the Los Angeles Times Community News Group.

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