Filing taxes is not usually an enjoyable process. It’s a job that takes an entire night — or even the whole weekend — to complete.
But with a tax preparation app, filing taxes is much easier and more time efficient. Here’s how you can use a tax app to file your taxes straight from your phone, and reduce the headache that tax season brings.
1. Download a DIY tax app
The process of filing taxes with a tax app starts with choosing a trustworthy service. Check out our review of popular tax prep apps, then download the one that resonates most with you.
All of these apps make excellent accompaniments to the full software version you can find online. Even better, you can switch back and forth between the computer and app version and work on your taxes whenever is most convenient for you. However, filing your taxes can be done exclusively using these mobile apps if that’s your preference.
2. Upload income tax documents
One of the biggest time sucks of tax time is the process of inputting your income and expense information manually. However, filing taxes from your phone completely eliminates this headache, since you can quickly snap a photo of your W-2 to easily upload the information in most apps.
Not only does snapping a photo of your tax documents save you loads of time, it’s also a more accurate way to input tax numbers. Currently, most tax preparation apps only allow you to take a picture of your income documents, so you’ll have to input tax-related expenses manually.
3. Follow the app’s prompts
As you continue through the process, pay close attention to the app’s prompts. In order to accurately prepare and file your taxes, it’s important to answer all the questions correctly. Input answers to questions related to your filing status, employment history, life changes, and any other credits you may qualify for.
A lot can happen in a year’s time, so be sure to take any big changes into account. Events like moving, getting married, or having a new baby can all affect your taxes. Take extra care with this step as it will determine how much (or how little) you may owe. Filling things out correctly will ensure you qualify for the biggest tax savings possible.
4. Review your income and expenses
Once you’ve uploaded your income documents and input your expenses, it’s time to thoroughly review everything. Forgetting an important expense could mean a smaller tax refund or paying more than necessary.
A tax preparation app makes it easy to file your taxes on the go, but it also has the potential to introduce errors if you’re distracted while on your phone. Spend an extra minute or two reviewing your answers.
This is also a great time to make sure you entered your personal information correctly. Not having the correct address or Social Security number could delay the processing of your tax return, and prolong how long you’ll wait to get a refund.
5. Calculate deductions and credits
In addition, if you use tax deduction apps like iDonatedIt, you can export this information to input into your tax return, too. Don’t forget about your student loan interest deduction and any credits for contributing to your retirement plan.
6. Track your payment or refund
Once you’ve followed the above steps, you can file your taxes straight from your mobile phone.
You can then track your refund using the IRS2Go mobile app simply by putting in your Social Security number, filing status, and refund amount. This free tax app was created by the IRS, so you can be sure that the information is up-to-date and accurate.
In addition to tracking your refund amount, you can use the same app to find a local tax expert in your area who can answer questions or help you come up with a plan to pay any tax balance you may owe.
With the advancement of technology, the process of filing taxes is easier than ever. By simply using your mobile phone and a trustworthy tax app, you’ll be able to accurately complete your taxes.