Just like the annual trip to the dentist, tax season has crept up on us once again. To take the analogy a step further – if you have brushed, flossed, and rinsed as you should, your visit to the dentist will be quick and pain-free (both physically and financially). However, if not, the pain will long and agonizing. Similarly, if you have kept your accounting records in order the whole year with a constant eye on the upcoming tax season, preparation of your accounts will be pain-free (both from a time and cost factor). If not, the auditor may come to pay you a visit.
Thankfully, these days there are numerous tools to ease the burden of preparing all your tax season documentation. The following are five tools that will help you through the tax season with a minimum of fuss.
1. Salary Calculator – If you haven’t been using a salary calculator to assist in calculating what is left of your gross salary after taxes or to extrapolate weekly, monthly, or annual wages from an hourly wage rate, then you have been wasting your time. There are salary calculators freely available online. They are easy to use and are an excellent basis for preparing your tax return.
2. Electronic Filing Tool – The IRS is your best friend, just ask them. They will do all they can to help you part with the correct sum of money to help fill their coffers and they will even provide the tools for free to help make this task as pain-free as possible. If you are submitting your tax return electronically, which is quickest and easiest way to do so, you will require an Electronic Filing PIN which is easily arranged online.
3. Payroll Tax Solution Provider — If you do have a small business but don’t have a dedicated business manager, it is worth investing in a payroll tax solution provider to reduce the burden of calculating withholding tax. A good solution not only automatically calculates employee hours tax withholding but also automatically generates the requisite federal and state government forms created for you so that you can file them quickly and easily online. When you have to prepare employee tax forms for tax season, a payroll tax solution provider will save you time and aggravation.
4. PDF to Excel Converter – Due to the inherent stability and universality of PDF documents they are so readily and often used. Chances are you have PDF documents that contain a lot of valuable information that could be used come tax season – but that data cannot be mined from a PDF format document. If this is the case, invest in a PDF to Excel converter to save yourself time by putting data into a format that can be readily accessed and used.
5. iXpenseIt — chances are that our most heavily used piece of business equipment is our smartphone or tablet. It is with us at all times and provides so much functionality that we barely miss being away from our laptop or PC. It was only logical that an app would be developed to help keep track of our expenses on the go. The iXpenseIt app ($4.99) for iPhone or iPad allows you to keep track of expense data, import it, photograph and save receipts, submit reimbursement requests, and track income and cash flow generate reports directly on your mobile device.
Tal Rayman is the Head of Marketing for CogniView – The provider of PDF2XL, a leading PDF to Excel converter – here to help you save time this tax season!