How to Simplify Your Taxes for Good

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W-2s. 1099s. Donation receipts. Proof of health insurance premium payments. What do they all have in common? You need them to file your 2017 taxes!

Did you move for a job? You might be able to deduct your moving expenses.

Do you teach and pay for classroom supplies yourself? You might be able to deduct them.

Did you go back to school? You might be eligible for an additional tax credit.

How can you keep track of it all, especially with April 17 fast approaching? Here are three online tax tips to simplify your taxes for good.

Use Apps to Organize Your Receipts

We all have a collection of receipts for large purchases, but what about receipts from medical expenses or child care bills? Or classroom supplies, tools, uniforms, or other work-related items you paid for yourself?

Don’t worry! Whether your receipts are scattered in drawers and crumpled in coat pockets or stuffed in a shoebox under your bed, there’s a better way! Online tax tools and apps help you save receipts, track mileage, log donations, and more.

Popular apps include:

  • Shoeboxed
  • Expense IQ
  • MileIQ
  • Mint
  • ItsDeductible
  • iDonatedIt

You may not need each app, but using even one can make it easier to do your taxes. For example, Shoeboxed, approved by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), has a scan-by-mail service for your paper receipts, and an auto-import feature for receipts sent to your Gmail account. That means you don’t have to dig through your receipt drawer, or your inbox, to find that one receipt you need to claim a deduction.

File Your Taxes Online with Tax Prep Software

Not only does internet technology make it easier to keep track of your receipts, it also makes it easier to file your taxes. And, if your filing status is single and you have an Adjusted Gross Income under $66,000, you may be able to file your taxes online for free. Visit to see if you qualify. It’s also worth checking out the site’s wide range of free tools and resources for gathering the proper forms and documents, possible deductions, and more.

Ready to file? Great! There are apps to do that, too. TurboTax and H&R Block are two of the more popular tax software options available. Both offer step-by-step guides for filing your taxes, and also help you find and maximize deductions. If you like more face-to-face assistance and use H&R Block’s software, you can visit one of its office locations for free in-person help.

Another benefit of using tax software like TurboTax and H&R Block is that you can easily transfer your tax information from one year to the next, saving you time. In other words, you can click a button next year to move your pertinent data instead of re-entering it.

One thing to remember when filing online: fast Internet from a reliable Internet service provider is imperative. You don’t want your connection to time out in the middle of submitting your taxes online.

Track Your Refund

Receipts organized? Check.

Taxes prepared with tax software to find and maximize your deductions? Excellent.

Taxes filed online? Great!

Now you want to track your refund.

If you used TurboTax or H&R Block, you can log in to your account and check the status of your refund. You can also use the official mobile app of the IRS: IRS2Go. Yes, that’s right! The IRS has an app! It provides status updates on your refund, as well as tips to make filing easier next year.