For me, the most time-consuming aspect of tax returns is gathering the records for deductions. As long as you do some work throughout the year, Mint can help you tag and keep track of medical and work expenses, state and local taxes, interest payments on your mortgage, and charitable contributions.One thing Mint isn't good with is keeping track of cash payments. You need to enter those manually. Expensify can supplement Mint if you often pay with cash. Like Mint, Expensify can grab data from your bank, credit card and PayPal accounts. It doesn't handle investments, though. Expensify goes beyond Mint by letting you submit cash transactions simply by photographing a receipt with a camera phone, uploading a scanned image from a computer or emailing a receipt to a supplied address. Expensify will then pull relevant data, such as the date, merchant and amount.
Expensify has tagging like Mint. The service is free for the first 10 receipts automatically processed. After that, it's 20 cents each. To avoid the fee, you can manually enter data. Free apps are available for Apple, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices.The iDonatedIt app is good for tracking your non-cash donations to goodwill. You add items one by one and say whether it's in “good,” “better” or “best” condition. The app then estimates the fair-market value of that item and calculates a total.
The $2.99 app comes from the BMG accounting firm. Versions are available for the iPhone, iPad and Android devices. Don't expect much from the Android version, though.If you're on the road a lot for work, consider MileBug to keep track of your mileage and related expenses. The $2.99 app is available for the iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Phone devices. There's no version for regular computers, but these are things better handled from a mobile device as you travel.
To use it, simply add the odometer readings at the start and end of your trip. MileBug calculates the costs, based on the IRS' published rates. There's room to add expenses for parking, tolls, lodging and meals.For some people, Mint will be enough to keep you organized. Expensify is better for tracking cash payments and paper receipts, iDonatedIt will help with non-cash donations and MileBug is ideal for those on the road for work a lot.