Four Tools to Make Quarterly Estimated Taxes Less Painful

Version 4

    With June 15 just around the corner, many of your readers are starting to think about-and perhaps dread-filing their quarterly estimated tax payments. While QETs can be a nightmare for overworked and unorganized small business owners and self-employed individuals, there are many online tools available to make the process easier, faster and headache-free.

    Here's how they work:

    Shoeboxed.com for Receipts and Expenses
    Shoeboxed (http://shoeboxed.com/) makes keeping track of expenses and deductions a breeze. With Shoeboxed, gone are the days of spreadsheets and boxes full of wrinkled receipts. Users simply mail their receipts to the company, and the tedious process of scanning and data entering receipt information is done for them. Data is then made available to users via the Shoeboxed web application. And for those who want to keep track of their expenses on the go, Shoeboxed Mobile and the Shoeboxed iPhone app allow users to take pictures of receipts with their phones and send them to the company for data entry.

    FreshBooks for Invoices
    Of course tracking expenses is only part of the organization battle. FreshBooks (http://freshbooks.com/) allows users to create professional invoices and track how much has been billed and how much is outstanding. And thanks to an integration with Shoeboxed, FreshBooks automatically pulls receipts if users need to bill clients for expenses. Paid invoices can then be easily exported to Outright.com where income is automatically tracked.

    Outright.com for Bookkeeping
    Outright (http://outright.com/) is a free bookkeeping app that, integrated with Shoeboxed and FreshBooks as well as credit cards, PayPal, and other services, automates your accounting. Users can monitor the progress of their businesses, prepare financial statements and automatically populate Schedule C tax forms at the end of the year. Need help with the June 15th obligation? Outright.com calculates the estimated tax you owe, so you know exactly what to pay, while helpful alerts keep you apprised of all your other tax deadlines.

    Teaspiller for Tax Advice
    For those looking for tax experts and QET advice there is Teaspiller (http://teaspiller.com/), a service that allows users to ask tax questions, upload tax data and have their taxes filed by an expert, all online. The service is integrated with Shoeboxed and other tax applications, making it easy to get financial information to a Teaspiller tax expert.