These seven iPhone apps give you a jump-start on tax season

Jan 17, 2010
Finance

Tax time is almost here again. And sure, you could procrastinate until the last minute like you did last year, or your could get a jump start on the whole thing. If you’ve got an iPhone, the process will go a whole lot smoother. You can break it up; a little tax time here on […]

Tax time is almost here again. And sure, you could procrastinate until the last minute like you did last year, or your could get a jump start on the whole thing. If you’ve got an iPhone, the process will go a whole lot smoother. You can break it up; a little tax time here on the train, a little on the lunch break. Here are seven great iPhone apps to get you in shape to just sweat it out and get it done.

Quicken Online Mobile, is a great app that works with both the iPhone and the iPod Touch. It’s also free. There are a lot of banking iPhone apps out there, but Quicken Online Mobile is my favorite. Users can add their account information and get a continuously updated look at their finances. You can use Quicken to see your bank balances, loan payments, and credit card information, all in one place. You can also add information about your paycheck, so you can see a forecast of your expenses for the month ahead. You don’t have to worry about your information either. The app requires a four-digit PIN number to access, so if your iPhone is lost or stolen (or you just set it down), only you can get access to your information.

There’s also QuickBooks Online. You’ll have to get a QuickBooks Online account  at $9.95 per month, but you’ll get some great small business accounting software out of it. QuickBooks Online works on your iPhone as well as your computer, so you can take it on the go. You can track your money, run a balance sheet, and create profit and loss reports.

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Tax time can be confusing and stressful, and each year it seems to get more complicated. To help you out, there’s Dr. Taxes ($1.99). It features more than 100 questions people have when it comes to their taxes. Dr. Taxes lets you know what has changed since last year, and offers some tax tips to help you this time around.

Another handy iPhone app to help you plan ahead is Taxcaster Mobile. Available for free, it will let you know ahead of time what your tax return will be. Don’t wait until you file — this way, you can know ahead of time and can plan accordingly. Best of all, it’s a really easy program to use and it gives you a big heads up.

Tax time can be especially confusing if you run your own business or work from home. Luckily, a little iPhone app with a big name has got you covered. The Contractor, Freelancer, Small Business Tax Calculator is free and easy to use. By typing in your hourly or weekly rate, the tax calculator will calculate your monthly rate is and how much will go to the tax man. This is a fantastic iPhone app for budgeting early. This way, you’ll know ahead of time what to expect and can save more effectively.

The Shoeboxed app is another great and free iPhone app that I always find useful. Shoeboxed uses the iPhone camera to take pictures of your receipts and allows you to make digital records of them. The IRS accepts the photos, so at tax time, you don’t have to pull out a drawers worth of unsorted receipts for things you used for your business. This is a great app for the self-employed, as it makes figuring out what you can claim a breeze.

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Finally, to help you keep track of what is due and when, just ask your mama. iTaxMama is a free tax calendar iPhone app. Now you’ll know how long you have until you have to pay your dues.

But don’t worry, you still have plenty of time. With this great collection of apps, you’ll be ahead of the game this year.

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Matthew Hendrickson

Matthew Hendrickson is a freelance writer and Editor and Chief of Jettison Quarterly. He lives in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood and has a degree in journalsim from Columbia College. He has written for the Chicago Journal, The Chicago Reporter, and ChicagoTalks.  His three-part story about lead poisoning rates in Chicago was featured at Propublica.org and IRE.org.

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