5 Ways Mint.com Helps at Tax Time



The Super Bowl is over, and the groundhog has predicted six more weeks of winter. Furthermore, the April 15 tax deadline looms menacingly. Whether you settle up with Uncle Sam yourself using tax software, or whether you turn to the help of a tax professional, having all your financial information at your fingertips can make this unpalatable task easier. It's amazing how much financial information you can forget over the course of a year, but personal finance software like Mint.com doesn't forget anything. If you haven't signed up to use Mint.com, there's no time like the present, and you'll be doing yourself a big favor for when it's time to do taxes next year. Here are 5 ways Mint.com can help you out at tax time.

1. By Categorizing Your Spending

Mint.com categorizes your spending, and this alone can be a tremendous time saver during tax season. Mint has hundreds of pre-set spending categories, and allows you to rename them or re-categorize transactions. You also have the option of adding your own categories that Mint will automatically apply from then on. And you can tag transactions that span multiple categories so that you can use them at tax time. For example, you can tag business expenses if you're self-employed, so you can easily identify things like office supplies, postage, and the cost of a second telephone line and group them so that they're available for you or your tax professional when preparing your return.

2. By Helping You Know What to Expect on Your Return

Maybe you're still waiting on a 1099 from a company you did some freelance consulting with, but you'd like to go ahead and get an idea of what your tax situation is. While the information on Mint is not a substitute for the actual documents the IRS needs, like those 1099 forms, you can easily find the five deposits the company made into your bank account over the preceding tax year and add them up. That way, you can run some rough numbers in your tax software and get an idea whether you'll end up owing the IRS or getting a refund.

3. By Helping You Remember Donations if You Itemize