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3 Ways to Use Mobile Technology for Your Business Tax Obligations

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3 Ways to Use Mobile Technology for Your Business Tax Obligations

By BarbaraWeltman, Guest Blogger
Published: February 14, 2012 Updated: May 21, 2012

Mobile technology has enabled us to run our businesses on the fly. It has also helped us to simplify some of the tasks involved in operations, not the least of which is taxes. Here are three ways you can use mobile technology to simplify tax-required recordkeeping, stay updated on tax changes, and keep in touch with your tax advisor.

Note that the specific apps listed here are not recommendations but merely used to illustrate the type of apps to consider for a particular purpose; it’s up to you to explore the ones best suited for your purposes. Also, note that some apps are limited to a specific platform, such as the iPhone and iPad, so check for apps that are suitable for the smartphone or tabletplatform you use.

1. Apps for recordkeeping

In order to deduct travel, entertainment, and other business expenses, you need to have good records. In the old days, you would save receipts and other pieces of paper and store them in a file folder or shoe box. You’d keep a paper diary of your schedule and travel information. Things have changed!

Scanning receipts. Receipts are still required to prove your business expenses. However, you can now use your smartphone’s camera and an app to scan your receipts and store them for tax purposes. Example:  *Scanner Pro ($6.99).

Recording T&E info. The tax law requires you to keep a record of the date, purpose, and other information for travel and entertainment expenses. You can now do this with apps designed for this purpose. Example: *ExpenseWare ($19.99 per month for a single user plan).

Tracking mileage. If you use your personal car or truck for business, the tax law requires you to keep a record of business mileage also. The GPS in your smartphone enables easy recordkeeping for this purpose. Example: *Milog ($3.99).

2. Apps for tax news

The IRS is the prime source of tax news and the Service has gotten into mobile technology in a big way. It recently released its IRS2Go 2.0, an expanded version of its smartphone application designed to provide you easier access to practical tools and information. The new app works on both the iPhone and Android platforms; the older version was only for the iPhone. Here are some of the features of the app:

  • Get tax updates by providing your email address so that you’ll automatically receive tips and reminders to help you with tax planning. Tips are sent daily through the filing season and periodically throughout the rest of the year.
  • Receive the latest news releases delivered to your phone.
  • Follow the IRS Twitter newsfeed @IRSnews. Here you’ll get easy-to-use information, including tax law changes and information on IRS programs (such as the new voluntary worker classification program).
  • Watch IRS videos on its YouTube channel.

3. Staying in touch with your tax advisor

Obviously, the smartphone, by definition, is a way to communicate with your tax advisor. But if you don’t want to talk, you can use your phone in other ways to stay in touch.

Accounting entries. If you use *QuickBooks Online ($12.95 per month), you can send invoices, track payments, and more through your smartphone. You can enable your CPA or other tax advisor to have access to your account.

Sharing receipts. Instead of bringing paper receipts to your accountant at tax time, consider using a program such as *Shoeboxed.com (plans starting at $10 per month). The free app lets you scan receipts and save them in the cloud in a tax-organized way. Then your accountant can access them for tax return preparation.

Final thought

As small business owners embrace mobile technology, there’s likely to be a growing number of applications to help you run your business better and easier. Be sure to read reviews of applications and take advantage of free trials before buying anything.

 

*Denotes non-government website

About the Author:

Barbara Weltman

Guest Blogger

Barbara Weltman is an attorney, prolific author with such titles as J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes, J.K. Lasser's Guide to Self-Employment, and Smooth Failing as well as a trusted professional advocate for small businesses and entrepreneurs. She is also the publisher of Idea of the Day® and monthly e-newsletter Big Ideas for Small Business® and host of Build Your Business Radio. She has been included in the List of 100 Small Business Influencers for three years in a row. Follow her on Twitter: @BarbaraWeltman.

Comments:

Technology has made its mark in all the industries and making our lives easier. Health care and logistics seems to have benefited from Enterprise Mobility.
Now a days we can see that there are lots of Smart phone in the market which are been available for different OS and User Interface but right choice of the Smartphone is more advisable when you use them for professional use which can have applications to build a strong business intelligence features.
Mobile apps really changing people activity not only on business but on normal people who are depended on this apps. Now a days some apps have launched, not only you can manage your tax accounts or your business account but you can now also check your business live if you have CCTV camera in your business premises and I have seen myself how the live streaming CCTV app works. Next app is coming, which is you can closed down your business premises with a switch of button, no need to carry keys and so on. So mobile app is changing the world to the next level and helping us to grow our business.
Do you have examples of iPhone apps that could be helpful with my business ?
Hi, Vincent we are the leading mobile application and iphone apps developer firm you can easy brief yourself by visiting our website by this link :- http://www.softwebsolutions.com/enterprise-mobility-solutions.html
Definitely technology brings everything possible and as time goes it makes things lighter. Definitely this can be applicable generally to personal and business side in our life. Taking the side of business that matches on this post, mobile gadgets are really big help in keeping those important records and transaction on right track at any place. Using those mobile equipment you can do business task in convenient and handy way. House and lot
I definitely agree. Mobile devices has changed the way we manage our business. We can go anywhere we want and still work or do stuffs for our business. One unique characteristic of mobile devices is the efficiently since it makes our job easier and more accessible! Apartment for rent in Pasig
Thumbs Up! Very good article. Mobile devices has really affected the world of business. Much has changed the way we manage and control our business! Apartment for rent Philippines
I am always using my iPhone to scan receipts and immediately send them to my book keeper. I also have an hardware attachment that allows me to take credit card payments and interact payments.Its a cool like credit swipe terminal that saves me having to invoice clients after a closing sale meeting. I can take the payment right then in there and the best part is the terminal fits right in my pocket! Calgary SEO

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