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Top 4 apps to help your tax returns

Lady using a budgeting app to help with tax returns

As technology has advanced, mobile phones have morphed from functional devices used solely for voice calls into sophisticated portable computers. Now, you can even use them to keep the ATO off your back. Here are four great apps that will help you out as tax time creeps ever closer.

1. Official ATO tax app

The Australian Taxation Office’s official app is aimed at individuals and small businesses, and allows them to track, calculate and find relevant tax information and tools in a single location. It helps you calculate the amount of tax you need to withhold from salary and wage payments.

One of its best features is being able to track the progress of your individual income tax return after you have lodged it.

2. my Tax/my Tax Return

A comprehensive suite of tax calculators, my Tax is aimed at individuals, finance professionals and business owners. Developed by an Australian chartered accountant, the app can calculate a huge range of tax liabilities as well as the benefits of salary-sacrificing super and loan repayments. It also generates PDF reports.

By the same developer, my Tax Return can more specifically calculate your personal income tax. You can add various types of income, deductions and other events affecting your tax return

3. VehicleLog

VehicleLog is an app that helps you manage all your motor vehicle business expenses. It’s fully compliant with ATO requirements where the logbook method is used to claim the percentage business use of a vehicle.

The app supports multiple vehicles and multiple logbook periods, and creates an audit report in both CSV and PDF format every time you publish. You can send this directly to your employer, accountant or tax agent, you don’t even need to perform any additional calculations or spreadsheet manipulations. You can even claim the cost of VehicleLog in your tax return, as it’s a legitimate expense and fully tax deductible.

4. Shoeboxed

A great way to keep track of receipts as you receive them, Shoeboxed enables you to scan them with your smart phone and then it extracts the data for you. The service is human-verified, allowing a limited number of scans on its free plan, or more with a paid subscription (which also handled paper documents).

Shoeboxed then lets you export your key expense data into your preferred platform, such as MYOB, Xero or QuickBooks, or as a PDF or Excel document.

Even though the end of the financial year is a few months away, it’s never too early to start getting organised. Turn your phone into your personal tax accountant and be ready to file. And the apps don’t stop with tax returns, here are 3 great finance apps to help you with budgeting.