This clever app won't do your tax return for you but it will help make sure you don't get any nasty surprises
The only thing worse than having to fill out a tax return and hand over a chunk of cash is discovering that said chunk is much larger than you were expecting. Earnest is a simple iPhone app that helps you avoid unpleasant surprises by tracking income and expenditure to give a rough estimate of what the tax bill will be.
Installation is simple through the App Store and the welcome message helps you create your first income or expense record.
This is the basic idea behind earnest. You keep a quick record of the money earnt from jobs and the money spent on them and let it work out the amount of tax you are likely to pay at the end of the year.
The Income screen starts with a description of the job and the client that it is linked to. You can add clients by hand or from the Contacts list on the device. It can record the method of payment, whether it was cash, cheque, card or other and if you issued an invoice. It is also possible to attach an image of a receipt if one is available. A notes section can be used to include any extra information that might be needed.
Expenses are recorded in much the same way, although they can also be given a category. This can be very helpful if you have to itemise your expenses on a Tax Return. Once again notes and an image can be added to the record.
As records are entered earnest will work out the difference between your income and expenditure and show your taxable income. They can all be accessed through the Records page.
The Other Stuff screen lets you include other information such as income from other jobs or the first part of the year if you are starting in the middle of your tax year. You can also record tax payments that have already been made.
Records can be exported by email as csv files. These are text based spreadsheets that can be opened in any spreadsheet software. Two files are sent. This first includes all of the income and expense records recorded and the second is an overview for the year.
The Deadlines page has all of the tax deadlines you need to know about including when payments are due and the dreaded Self Assesment deadline. Deadlines can be copied into the iPhones diary app if you want to have reminders.
Earnest might not do your tax return for you but it does at least make sure that you know what your likely tax bill will be and it is easy to use.
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A well-designed app for keeping an eye on your likely tax bill
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