Tuesday, August 25, 2009

iPhone as a Tax Gadget?

One of my favorite bloggers, the Tax Guru, published a great blog the other day on how many people are beginning to use iPhone apps in order to prepare for tax season. Most of us are used to using programs like QuickBooks to monitor expenses, but as mobile applications become more and more advanced the idea of managing your finances with your cell phone is becoming a reality. Check out the following blog entry from the Tax Guru, or click here to see Mint.com’s list of the top 10 finance iPhone apps.

I don't have an iPhone and have no plans to get one; but as a life-long gadget freak, I have been intrigued by the growing list of applications being developed for it. In the latest Intuit newsletter, I just saw an ad for this app called Tap2Track Mileage that is supposed to use the iPhone's GPS capability to keep a log of vehicle trips that can produce an Excel spreadsheet that will be very useful at tax time.

This reminded me of a much more complicated gadget that was available in the mid 1980s for logging vehicle miles. That contraption required installing magnets onto the vehicle's drive shaft to record mileage on a device inside the vehicle, producing a paper listing of miles driven for business, medical and charitable purposes. If I remember correctly, that product sold for around $500; much more than the $3.99 this new app sells for.

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