The IRS estimates that about four out of five tax returns in the United States will be prepared using tax software and filed electronically. Electronic filing and choosing direct deposit has become the fastest and safest way to file an income tax return and receive a refund. The IRS reports that an average of nearly 112 million refunds are issued each year. The only way to find out your expected refund is to crunch your tax numbers.
Sometimes this can be easier said than done. As more and more people are turning to software to file their own taxes, there is an even greater need for tax help. Just as eFiling from home has taken over mailed-in tax returns from a tax preparer, an abundance of new tools are making tax prep faster and easier. There are multiple opportunities today for taxpayers to take advantage of tools to get themselves more organized and better prepared to file. Let’s take a look at some helpful tools for tax time.
An account reconciliation platform can automate and standardize the reconciliation process. These programs allow users to link various types of accounts to produce high-quality and accurate financial statements. It will support the total reconciliation lifecycle and provide users with a streamlined method to generate correct balance sheets. Platforms like ReconArt offer fully online cloud-based programs that allow for quick reconciliation and comparison of a general ledger, bank accounts, credit accounts, and other data from financial services. Using a tool like this will help taxpayers when it comes time to report data such as gross income, deductions, and other financial information to the IRS.
When looking for deductions to help offset gross income and get an accurate tax refund, some tools can help taxpayers calculate these items. One large deduction can be found in the miles that are driven for various purposes. Miles driven for medical appointments, charitable endeavors, and business meetings are all possible deductions depending on your situation. Apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, can make it easier to track and calculate qualifying trips. A mileage tool could even estimate reimbursement based on current IRS per-mile rates.
Instead of going through a box of papers, hoarders of receipts can send them all to a digital document service. These companies turn documents like receipts into digital data. Users can also email documents, or send pics from their phone or tablet. From there, taxpayers can add documents and information to tax preparation software or online preparation tools. Prices will vary on these services, but this serves as a great tool to help consolidate receipts and other financial transaction records.
Online Tax Preparation Tools
The IRS says that 71,761,000 taxpayers prepared and eFiled their federal tax returns. With this large number, perhaps the most essential tool that a taxpayer can use is an online tax preparation tool. These programs allow you to prepare your state and federal tax returns and file them online. These online preparation tools provide ease of use, the ability to file from anywhere, and the ability to quickly change and update items. These tools also allow you to receive eFile tax refunds faster. In the fast-paced global digital age, security is of utmost concern when sharing data online. Great amounts of time, energy, and money have been invested in making these online platforms safe and secure. Online tax preparation tools allow the user the file comprehensive tax documents without the hassle of a paper return.
The Internal Revenue Service’s free app offers news, updates, and tax tips from the agency. The real draw, however, is its refund tracker that allows users to follow the status of their refund. Recent events like government shutdowns and the global pandemic crisis have prompted the IRS to alter the filing season or impose new rule changes. This app will help with issues liked delayed refund times and rule changes. This is a good tool for any do-it-yourself tax filer as it provides information directly from the IRS.