Insurance and Finance

Apps Small-Business Owners Need to Simplify Tax Filing

By Joshua Baethge 1.1.18

The Christmas bells are fading and the ominous toll of tax season is getting louder in your ears. Taxes can be completely overwhelming for many people — especially for small-business owners, who have a range of complex considerations to untangle. While larger companies often have the luxury of delegated teams to handle accounting and file the paperwork, small-business owners often have to wear many hats.

Taking advantage of mobile support tools that manage documentation, perform calculations, and ensure IRS compliance can help alleviate some of the stress of filing — and make it easier to start the next tax year off right, so you never have to scramble to catch up.

Take a look at these apps to help navigate the tax process, and always make sure you are using only reputable sources when entrusting a program with your business’ sensitive information.

The Basics 

Sometimes, the best way to start is by going straight to the source — the IRS.

  • IRS2Go: The IRS’s mobile app allows business owners to find free tax-preparation advice, request tax-return information, check their tax-return status, and make payments.

Accounting for Donations

Texans help Texans. It’s part of what we do. If you, or your business, are making donations, you should be credited for that with a break on your taxes.

  • iDonatedIt: Keep track of any noncash charitable contributions you input. You can also attach photos of the donated items and email donation reports.
  • Donation Assistant: This app by TaxAct features a database of more than 1,300 items to help users determine the correct market price for their contributions.

Getting Organized

One of the keys to making tax season painless is getting organized in advance. However, the unpredictable pace of the business environment often makes that challenging. So apps that streamline the process are particularly useful.

  • Shoeboxed: If you need help organizing important documents, simply take pictures on a smartphone and upload them to this app. The software identifies important information, such as vendor, payments amounts, and transaction dates, and adds it to a searchable database.
  • Abukai Expenses: Quickly organize and categorize receipts with your phone camera and assign expense categories in just a couple of clicks. You can also take advantage of a sophisticated mileage-tracking component; data can be input via map pictures, an itinerary, or even a handwritten note.

Tracking Mileage

Whether you’re hitting the road to Houston every other week for conferences or driving your truck back and forth across your farm multiple times a day, that’s money out of your pocket that should be recognized on your taxes.

  • Expensify: Keep track of your mileage and account for expenses by linking this to your bank account or credit card.
  • Mileage Log+: This mileage-tracking app was created specifically to assist with IRS compliance. It features Microsoft Excel-compatible email reports and can categorize trips. The interface has predictive input and allows users to save their frequent trips.

Mobile Support

Some other resources that can help you organize business data and perform basic accounting tasks include Evernote, QuickBooks, Dropbox Business, and BizXpenseTracker. If you’re using multiple platforms, Unifyle can help you consolidate all that important information into one place.

Crunching the Numbers

Now that you have your key documents organized, these resources can help you figure out what to do with all of your information.

  • TaxCaster: This tax calculator helps forecast a business’ tax liability. The software is powered by Intuit, the company behind the personal tax filing software TurboTax.
  • Taxfyle: Designed specifically for freelancers, independent contractors, and small-business owners, this app allows users to chat with tax professionals who will review their information and explore options. Business owners can also sign and file their taxes via the app.
  • TaxAct: In addition to allowing users to file tax returns, this offers a range of services tailored to businesses of different sizes. Previous years’ data can be imported to help forecast trends, and experts are available to provide personalized help.

Staying Prepared

Each small business may be different, but there is a variety of apps available to meet a range of tax needs. And while the price of these services varies, the costs can often be written off. Taxes may never be fun, but having trusted resources at your disposal makes managing and preparing for them easier.

One important way for small-business owners and every individual to get their documents and finances in order is to review their insurance policies. Has anything in the last year occurred or changed that would impact your insurance needs or could potentially reduce your premiums? Call your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent to schedule a 360 Review of your policies.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation.

© 2018 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance