Four Online Tools to Make Quarterly Estimated Taxes Easier

With June 15 just around the corner, many of you are starting to think about—and perhaps dread—filing your 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:

Teaspiller for Tax Advice
For those looking for tax experts and QET advice there is Teaspiller, 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.

Shoeboxed.com for Receipts and Expenses
Shoeboxed 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 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.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.

Shoeboxed Places Second In Industry Standard 100 Awards!

The Industry Standard has released the results of the Industry Standard 100 Awards! After a public vote and a editorial review of Shoeboxed, we have been awarded second place in the Productivity category!

We’re humbled to have been ranked so high, as there were many great applications both in our category and throughout the 10 categories that the Industry Standard had. We just wanted to say thanks for everyone who voted for us to be nominated, and then voted again to help us get 2nd place! You’re the best!

Also worth mentioning is how much we have improved as an application during and after the voting period. During the voting period, we added automatic categorization of your receipts into 15 common tax categories, and launched Shoeboxed support of business cards. Both features have been extremely popular, so we consider those to even be a bonus to the app you all voted for!

To view the complete results, go here.

For an overview of the awards competition, this is from the Industry Standard website:

Overview
The Industry Standard Innovation 100 Awards — or the TIS 100 for short — is a community-driven awards program that showcases the top 100 Internet innovators across 10 categories. There is a multistage process to determine the TIS 100 and the winners for each of the ten categories. Readers, users, and company founders and executives can nominate and vote on the most innovative sites, services, and companies on the Web.

Get Things Done (GTD) With Shoeboxed

David Allen is a widely popular author who preaches the concept of GTD, or Getting Things Done. He is a thought leader in the area of personal productivity, and I’ve been meaning to mention him and his suggestions on the blog for awhile now. For a limited time, we are offering to send you a FREE David Allen book! If you buy a membership to our Receipt Mail-In program for $9, we will send you a free copy of David Allen’s book, “Getting Things Done.”

Shoeboxed giving out free David Allen GTD book

Here are some of the core principles, as noted on his website:

* Capturing anything and everything that has your attention
* Defining actionable things discretely into outcomes and concrete next steps
* Organizing reminders and information in the most streamlined way, in appropriate categories, based on
how and when you need to access them
* Keeping current and “on your game” with appropriately frequent reviews of the six horizons of your
commitments (purpose, vision, goals, areas of focus, projects, and actions)

He also has some interesting things to say about receipts:

If your receipts are all over the place, your filing system is chaotic, and your in-basket is dysfunctional, it just seems like too much work to do to find and organize the tasks at hand.

And

We’ll probably want to claim deductions, but if we do we’ll have to back them up, and that means we’ll need all the receipts. Oh, my God! I don’t know if we really have all the receipts we’d need and what if we didn’t have all the receipts but we claimed the deductions anyway and we got audited? Audited? Oh, no – the IRS’s JAIL!!

Anyway, Shoeboxed is not just about getting your receipts organized and manageable. We’re big supporters of any life hacks out there that can help you get other parts of your life more organized or make you more productive.

And that’s why we have the new offer: If you buy a membership to our Receipt Mail-In program for $9, we will send you a free copy of David Allen’s book, “Getting Things Done.”

Update: Oct. 14, 2008 — Offer expired, and dead links removed.