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3 Insanely Simple Steps to Automate your Taxes

3 Insanely Simple Steps to Automate your Taxes

If you’re like me, you have a hard time staying on top of your taxes. You have gas receipts stuffed in every corner of your car. You are saving them for the day at the end of the year when you do your taxes. You think to yourself: “Is this money I get back even worth the trouble?!” Then you remember money doesn’t grow on trees, you have bills to pay and you just grunt and keep stuffing…

I don’t dread this as much as I used to. I’m going to show you how I use my favorite automation tool to COMPLETELY automate my taxes.

The tool is called: IF THIS THEN THAT or IFTTT for short!

The way it works is, it allows you to connect different tools together. And just as the name sounds, it lets you set up “IFTTT applets” that look like this:

IF “this happens” THEN “do” THAT

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If This Then That Applet

    Here are 3 simple applets that will automate this process… no more stuffing receipts.

    1. One-click: Take a picture of the receipt and upload to an organized folder on Google Drive.

    • Download the IFTTT camera app on your phone.
    • Create a folder “Receipts” and a subfolder “2016” in Google Drive.
    • Turn this applet on and edit it to put photos in the “Receipts/2016” folder.

    Now, with one click your phone will take a picture of your receipt and upload it to your Google Drive folder.

    If you don’t have data, the app will wait for wifi to upload.

    Save your receipts the first year. Once everything goes smoothly this first time around, feel free to throw dem’ receipts out.

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    ProTip: Create multiple versions of this applet with subfolders of different expense types. (“Receipts/2016/gas”, “Receipts/2016/restaurants”)

    2. Add incoming email receipts to Google Drive

    This applet will watch your inbox for emails. Any emails with “receipt” or “order” in the title will automatically go in your receipts folder. IFTTT will add a new row to a spreadsheet so you can keep track of the link to the original email.

    • Turn this applet on and press save.
    • Edit it to put files in the “Receipts/2016” folder.

    3. Send your accountant a timed email with the link to your receipts folder.

    Send Email to Accountant

      This last piece will finish off the automation process. Send your accountant an email every year with your receipts.

      Get an accountant to handle your income taxes at the end of the year. Make sure they allow you to send only electronic receipts of your purchases.

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      Here’s an applet that will send them a friendly email with a link to your receipts folder.

      This last one you’ll have to create yourself.

      • From the My Applets page, click “New Applet”.
      • Click “+this” and select Date and Time.
      • Choose the “Every year on” box.
      • Enter your favorite day in January.
      • Click “+that” and select Gmail.
      • Choose the “Send an Email” box.
      • Then, enter the email to your accountant with a link to your Receipts folder.
      • Click “Create Action”
      • Click “Finish”.

      You’re all set to go, make sure your accountant will take photos of receipts.

      Bonus: Integrate more automation with Expensify

      Expensify is service that keeps track of your receipts and expenses for your tax returns. Their free tier is great for personal use. The best part is, you can connect it with IFTTT.

      You can replace the One-click option by uploading to Expensify instead of Google Drive.

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      Replace the “add incoming email receipts to google drive” with this custom applet. Forward incoming email receipts to Expensify.

      • From the My Applets page, click “New Applet”.
      • Click “+this” and select Gmail.
      • Choose the “New email from inbox in search” box.
      • Enter “subject:receipt, subject:order” in the input and click “Create Trigger”.
      • Click “+that” and select Gmail.
      • Choose the “Send an Email” box.
      • Then, enter the email to receipts@expensify.com.
      • Click “Create Action”
      • Click “Finish”.

      I’ll leave it as an exercise for you to update sending an email to your accountant.

      Conclusion

      You should now be up and running with an automated tax return process. There are even more ways you can automate. If you need to record your trips in your vehicle, there’s an applet for that.

      Let us know if there are any additional tools you use to automate your finances.

      More by this author

      Collin Glass

      Growing WealthHackers.net

      3 Insanely Simple Steps to Automate your Taxes

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      Published on October 16, 2018

      7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Help You Make the Most of Your Business

      7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Help You Make the Most of Your Business

      There’s nothing more fulfilling than the sense of accomplishment you get by achieving your business goals.

      Gone are the days when you used pen and paper to take notes and manage your work day. As millennials are relying heavily on technology to manage almost everything from finances to their personal fitness, goal tracking apps are also becoming increasingly popular.[1]

      In this piece, we will shed some light on 7 such goal tracking apps that you can use to streamline your operations.

      I have handpicked these apps from a software rating web services site Best Online Reviews. Industry experts review software on these websites and help businesses to find the right solutions to meet their various, unique business requirements.

      1. Aha!

        Aha! is a California-based roadmap software provider and offers excellent goal tracking app that lets you define goals and objectives for projects. The app also lets you list out primary tasks and allows you to focus on them.

        Hosted securely on the cloud, the app offers enhanced communication tools for sharing updates through emails with select colleagues or the entire organization.

        Aha! is available on multiple platforms such as the web, Android, iOS, Windows, etc. and starts from $59 per month per user.

        Available for Web

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        2. Asana

          Asana is one of the more popular project management apps available for businesses. It lets you organize all your team’s work, such as setting up and tracking goals, creating tasks, sharing files and notes, etc.

          Asana also allows your team to organize all their tasks and focus on urgent priorities. Moreover, the app offers a delightful user experience that makes task management simple and easy.

          Asana is available on multiple platforms from PCs and Mac to iOS and Android. Multi-channel adaptability makes Asana the perfect choice to track your goals anytime, from anywhere.

          Available for iOS | Android | Web

          3. Basecamp

            Basecamp is an excellent tool to manage all your team’s projects and keep your activities organized. It opens a new thread for every task and that task is visible by the whole team.

            With Basecamp, you can schedule tasks, add to-dos, discuss tasks by adding comments, add files and attachments, and much more.

            The app is available on both mobile and desktop platforms and costs $99 per month. It is available on the web, Android, and iOS platforms and offers excellent multi-channel access.

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            Available for iOS | Android | Web

            4. Forecast

              An efficient tool for successful task management, Forecast is also a popular goal tracking app. Apart from effective milestone tracking, the app also offers convenient status reporting.

              Forecast uses project history to let you know the status of your current work. Moreover, it uses the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to provide high-quality assistance. It is a robust app for small teams to track goals and time.

              Forecast is available for free and comes with Android and iOS app support. The premium version of the app starts from $19 per month per user.

              Available for Web

              5. Wrike

                Wrike is a cloud-based collaboration and project management app that successfully manages projects from start to finish. It lets you create tasks, track work progress and retrieve reports with ease.

                The app also gives real-time work updates and helps team members to understand their work priorities. A custom report builder helps you to generate in-depth reporting.

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                Wrike’s premium version is available from $9.80 per month per user and is available on multiple platforms.

                Available for iOS | Android | Web

                6. Todo.vu

                  Todo.vu is a unique platform that delivers enhanced customer relationship management (CRM), task management, time tracking, and billing functionality in a single app.

                  According to Capterra, it’s an ideal app for freelancers and consultants, who are looking for tools to improve efficiency and transparency.

                  Although the app is free to use with basic features, the premium plan starts from $5 per month per user. The app also comes with calendar sync and task reminder functionality to keep you on track, always.

                  Available for Web

                  7. Flock

                    Looking for a tool to simplify task management? Try out Flock.

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                    Flock comes with enhanced goal tracking and additional features like instant messaging.

                    Moreover, Flock offers tons of integrations with tools such as Google, MailChimp, Jira, Dropbox, etc. It is a powerful tool that’s packed with robust features such as reminders, notes, polls and to-dos.

                    Even though you can use the tool for free, the paid version of Flock is available from $4.50 per month per user.

                    Available for iOS | Android | Web

                    Conclusion

                    Businesses need high-quality project management tools to streamline collaboration and operations. Enhanced goal tracking apps make it easy for your team to improve productivity by keeping its tasks organized.

                    But it’s essential that you choose an app that meets your unique business requirements. You can choose from the above-mentioned apps to streamline operations and improve the productivity of your team.

                    Featured photo credit: Alvaro Reyes via unsplash.com

                    Reference

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