Let’s be perfectly clear: Freelance taxes will never be easy.
But they can be easier with the assistance of technology. And yes, most organizational and financial apps require you to have employed them before you’re actually sitting down to do your taxes, but if April snuck up on you, rest assured that there is still hope.
These apps can help make sense of your freelance taxes, either by simplifying your paperwork or making it easier to prove to the IRS that you did, in fact, take that client out to lunch on that particular day.
—Scantastic. No scanner? No problem. Scan and organize your documents easily, right from your phone with this simple, easy-to-use app. When you’re ready to file, your documents will all be in one place and oh-so-easy to access, which is essential when trying to remember how much you spent on gas in the last year.
—Earnest. This is probably the most beloved, most comprehensive app there is for small businesses, sole proprietors, and freelancers. It’s free, it’s beautiful, and it’s super-easy to use. Even if you’re just starting with it now, it can help you get an idea of what kinds of documents from last year you need to get together.
—Expensify. Though it’s definitely designed for businesses, Expensify can pretty simply be hacked for your own purposes. Its pretty, simple expensive-tracking mechanisms are useful for freelancers who have their expenses scattered across receipts and online transactions, and can help you track travel and mileage.
—Google Maps. Yes, this may seem basic, but if you just need to track how far you drove in the last year for business, Google Maps is the fastest way to do it. Just calculate how far you drove to the places you went the most — client meetings, business lunches, your coworking space — and add it up. If you weren’t great about logging your mileage last year, this is actually really helpful.
—Ask a CPA. Sometimes you just need to ask someone if you’re doing this right. Rather than helping you round up your receipts, this handy, free app helps you find human answers for your questions.
—NowDoThis. Taxes are taxing, and you might find that during the process, you forget about important things like eating or other important tools. Use this ultra-simple to-do app while you’re in the weeds and you won’t forget to live the rest of your life. Trust me — this is helpful!
Bonus: Freshbooks. Seriously, it’s never too late to start using this powerful bookkeeping software. Start now and by this time next year, you’re be shrugging off your taxes like they’re no big deal.
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