And while you can push your tax filing date, and paying, to the limit, you need to act, to make sure your tax bill is as small as possible. There are measures, many of them online or via smartphone apps, that you can put in place, to save you time, and save you money.
And there's an app for that..
Tracking expenses, time and mileage can be a pain, but not having and keeping important documents could lead to substantial penalties if you are audited. Small business owners and individuals with significant expenses, that are determined not to leave money on the table at tax time, can use the app Expensify, which allows recording billable hours, mileage to and from client offices, and expenses.
If it’s important for you to track every hour, then this app may help you accomplish that goal. It takes about one minute to enter in time and provide details about how many hours worked, hourly rate, client and project. If items billable are marked, then it automatically creates an invoice to send from your iPhone.
The app also allows capturing pictures of receipts, and it provides the ability to record mileage on the go. With IRS mileage rates at 56.5 cents per mile, taking advantage of every mile can help save money at tax time.
Don't play the guessing game..
Many taxpayers cut their expected refunds short, or increase their tax bill, because they lack accounting records and receipts. Then, at tax time, taxpayers have to guess at the amount spent for items that qualify as deductions. Playing the guessing game can cost you big bucks.
Using a tax checklist or organizer can help. These can be found on the Internet. A checklist serves as a road map of which expenses are deductible throughout the year. Also, having a sound system in place is the key to taking advantage of all available deductions. Your system doesn't have to be fancy, but it should be work for you. Programs such as Mint.com and other software can keep you on the right track. Small-business owners may benefit from sites such as Outright.com, to provide online bookkeeping to help categorize tax-deductible expenses upfront and create a custom reports. In addition to apps, review your bank statements monthly or bimonthly, and highlight expenses that are tax-deductible.
And how much do you owe?
If you are wondering how much you will owe in taxes, check out IRS.gov’s withholding calculator to help estimate tax liability. With a few clicks, you can determine whether you are on a path to a refund or owing money. If you are likely to owe money, you can complete Form W- 4 to make adjustments to your withholdings. However, if you are self-employed or receive income not subject to enough or any withholding, you may need to pay estimated taxes.