If you haven't done your taxes yet, time is running out.
April 15 is nearly upon us. While some of us may have done our taxes already and have our refund checks sitting in the bank, it's also easy to procrastinate. Doing your taxes bring back many unpleasant flashbacks of high school math homework and remind us that while every year we commit to set up a financial filing system to make this easy... we never quite do. Well, time's a-wastin' and there's plenty your Android devices can do to help, so charge 'em up and break out the bags of bunched-up receipts.
So grab your 1040 and let's go get that refund! Maybe.
1. TurboTax Tax Preparation
Our own Andrew Martonik told you to get your taxes done back in February, and when he did, he recommended the TurboTax Tax Preparation app, which can sync with your TurboTax account so that you can fill out the question-by-question tax preparation throughout your busy day. It's also helpful if you need to go spelunking for more forms in the black hole formerly known as the family office. You may not fill out your entire return here, but at least you can keep going even if you get dragged away from the computer.
2. Google Inbox
In an age of paperless transaction and forms, more and more companies are emailing out the legal forms you need to help fill out your taxes, but that's just the tip of the usefulness Inbox can provide for your tax prep. Because it automatically fishes out emails for the Purchases and Finances folders, it'll make it easier to search for that W-2 or 1099 that you got back in January, and search for those tax-deductible charity donations you know you made for the Ice Bucket Challenge last year. Now is also an excellent time to set up a label for tax documents so that next year maybe they'll all be sitting in one nice neat folder of Inbox for you.
If you haven't been using a personal finance app all year, it's too late for this return, but maybe the sting from this year will be enough to actually get you into the habit of using an app like Mint. Mint is made by the same company as TurboTax and it's a simple way to both keep an eye on your budget and maintain a trail of where you spent money over the year for things like — you guessed it — your tax return. Whether you're saving your way towards that down payment on your first home or you're just trying to make sure you've got enough left over for whatever new phone/tablet/game/toy you'll be dying to buy on launch day, Mint can help you make it happen.
4. Google Drive
If you think you're more likely to face an audit, or even if you're just looking to get all these documents somewhere easier to sort and access, then think about scanning your documents to a folder in Google Drive for this year's tax return. This way, you can click it, save it, and move on. Drive can also prove useful as you can make lists of deductions you did and didn't take and keep it in that same folder.
5. H&R Block 1040EZ
If you qualify to file a 1040Ez instead of a more lengthy and complicated return — and keep in mind that just because you can file a 1040Ez instead doesn't mean that's the one you should file to get all the money back you can — then H&R Block has an app just for you. It even allows you to import your W-2 by taking a picture, simplifying input even more. State selection for your local returns is automatic and based off your address now, so if you get income from another state, you'll need to look elsewhere, but that shouldn't be an issue for most folks.
The IRS is who you're sending your tax return to, so it might help if you saw the tips they give out to help maximize your refund, streamline the process, and get you done with your taxes so they can get done with them, too. The IRS2Go app can also help you track your refund once it's submitted, so you'll know when it's processed, and when that refund should be landing in your direct deposit account.
If your taxes are getting to be too much for you, the IRS2Go app also provides an handy directory of local tax prep offices that you can turn to for help, especially if you qualify for free tax prep.
7. Google Play Music
Finances can be frustrating. Math can be frustrating. Add in the threat of possible penalties or not getting all of your money back if you mess up, and it's no wonder you've waited this long to do your taxes. It's just too stressful! So put on some tunes to help keep you calm, keep you focused, and remind you to take breaks every now and again. And even if you don't have All Access, the Instant Mix feature will mix a playlist from the songs in your own collection based on a song, artist, or album and keep you jamming out through your tax prep.
So, have you finished your taxes yet, or are you waiting till tomorrow night like a true procrastinator? Which apps help you do your taxes — or help keep you sane while you do them? And a friendly reminder that if you use your smartwatch at work, you may be able to claim part of its cost as a business write-off... unless you forget to like I did. D'oh...