Don't Miss Another Tax Deduction! These 5 Apps Can Help

February 18 2015

taxesTax season is a time of mourning all those deductions that could have been--that moment when you see the year's tax bill and instantly regret all those receipts you tossed. As independent contractors, real estate agents can write off quite an array of business expenses. Each of those deductions, however, needs to be documented in order to be legitimate in the eyes of the IRS. That means saving receipts and recording miles.

Pretty tedious stuff, right? But that's why a lot of agents have tax bills that are higher than they could have been.

While it's too late to change what you'll owe this April 15, you can reduce what you'll pay next year by diligently documenting deductions. Fortunately, the smartphone era has taken a lot of the pain in achieving this away. As with most things today, there's an app for that. Here are 5 of our favorite.

1. MileIQ - MileIQ uses your phone's built-in GPS to automatically log your mileage. Once you're done driving, you can simply swipe to classify a trip as a business expense. A nice touch is the amount of miles driven and deductions earned displayed at the top of the app. Think of it as extra motivation to keep diligently logging those miles! The app is free for 40 drives per month; a premium version tracks unlimited drives for a low monthly or annual fee.

2. Shoeboxed - Shoeboxed helps you keep track of your receipts. You can scan paper receipts using your mobile phone and even connect with Gmail to identify and organize receipts from online vendors. The app will also keep track of mileage using your phone's GPS. Free and premium versions are available.

3. DeductrDeductr - As a participant in NAR technology accelerator REachâ„¢, Deductr is particularly suited to cater to the needs of Realtors. It's a one-stop app that lets agents keep track of their mileage, expenses, and time.

4. QuickbooksQuickbooks - Many agents owners rely on this popular small business accounting program. If you're one of them, be sure to download the Quickbooks mobile app. You can use it to snap photos of receipts and keep track of deductible expenses on the go.

5. Evernote - Real estate started a love affair with Evernote a few years ago from which it has not yet recovered. Nor should it! Agents use it for everything from organizing client documents to listing presentations. You can also use it to snap pictures of receipts on the go right from your smartphone. Just toss all your receipts in one folder and share it with your accountant come tax time.

Honorable Mention: While MintMint won't track your mileage or scan receipts, this app tracks all of your purchases and lets you to tag them as "Tax related." This is extra convenient if you use TurboTax--Mint syncs with it and can automatically export tagged deductions to TurboTax.

Your turn: what are your favorite financial or expense tracking apps?