TurboTax, IRS services and more: Try these tax tools to ease the pain of filing taxes
It may be a new year, but we’re all still dealing with fallout from 2020. One area where this is most apparent right now? Taxes.
Here are a few notable ways the very latest tech can save a whole lot of time, money and headaches when it comes to pandemic-year taxes.
The average tax return for the 2019 tax year was nearly $3,000, according to IRS data. Three out of 4 Americans get a tax refund each year, and it’s the largest single check they receive all year.
The IRS is now using AI to catch tax cheats, but you can use that same next-level tech to maximize benefits and clear up confusion.
“COVID, what it really did was accelerate the desire for people to look for virtual solutions,” Sacha Adam, director of TurboTax Live told USA TODAY.
“It takes the latest tech and gives you a jump-start,” Lisa Greene-Lewis, CPA and tax expert for TurboTax explained. “You sign up on your mobile device or computer, answer a few questions … link to your employer, snap a photo of your W-2’s on your smartphone, and it automatically uploads all of that information. It does all the calculations on the back end so you don’t need to know any of the dozens of new tax provisions. But it also gives you personalization with an expert and the ability to talk with a CPA or enrolled agent in any way you want – video, live chat, email, phone – whatever’s most comfortable for you.”
The price for the service starts around $100 right now, but that might increase closer to the April 15 tax deadline.
If like me, you see that a check was mailed to you but you haven’t seen it yet, you can follow-up on the FAQ page with a request for a payment trace. This is important because it impacts your tax returns, too.
The cost for JustAnswer is $5 for a one-week trial period, then about $50 a month to ask a certified tax expert unlimited questions.
Here are a few tech tools to deal with finances all year round.
Mint is the simplest tool out there. Just plug in your bank information, and it arranges your finances into budgets. It’s also free.
For more heavy-handed help, YNAB is a zero-based budgeting app, which means every dollar in your account gets allocated toward a spending or savings goal every month. It takes more work to manage on your part, but it’s also helped my family save nearly $3,000 in the past six months. Try it for free for 34 days; then pay $11.99 a month, or $83.99 a year.
Source: USA Today