Alexa is getting more and more helpful. She seems to understand our language a little bit better each and every day. You can do so much more than just say, “Alexa, turn on the lights.” Of course, it’s still kind of fun to ask Alexa to tell you a joke.
However, you can use the tool for much more important things. For example, you can use Alexa to help with your taxes. She won’t do your taxes for you, yet. However, she can assist you with specific aspects of dealing with your taxes. You just need to know what to enable to make Alexa work for you.
Find Out When Tax Day Is
You have to file your taxes by April 15th each year. There are exceptions when the 15th falls on the weekend, which isn’t the case this year and won’t be again for several years to come. Nevertheless, if you can’t ever remember exactly when taxes are due, Alexa can help. Enable Tax Day in the skills section of the Alexa app. Then you can ask, “Alexa, when is Tax Day?”
Income Tax Finder
If you are wondering what your state income tax rates are, then you can ask Alexa by enabling this skill. You provide it with your state, year, filing status, and income. Alexa responds with your income tax rate. This gives you a good idea of approximately what you can expect to pay in taxes this year. Of course, you still have to do your taxes to find out exactly what you owe, but this is a good starting point.
Alexa is a Calculator
You have to do a lot of math when you’re filing your taxes. Why not let Alexa do that for you? You can ask her basic math information without enabling any special skills. Alternatively, you can enable My Calculator to supplement her basic knowledge.
Although it’s helpful to use Alexa to do the math for you, you might want to double-check her work before you file. After all, Alexa is getting better at understanding us but she still sometimes seems to hear something completely different from what we said. “But Alexa said so,” is probably not going to be a good excuse if you mess up the math on your taxes.
Tax Tips with Tyler McBroom
Enable this skill to receive a series of tax tips from a professional CPA. While it doesn’t allow you to ask specific questions and receive an answer, it does provide lots of helpful information. Once enabled, you can say, “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?” That will launch your helpful tax tips session. This is also just a great way to bone up on tax information throughout the year.
IRS Help and Tax News
If you enable this skill, you can have Alexa update you with the latest news about the IRS, taxes, and related financial issues. The information comes from CNN’s RSS feed. As tax date nears, they publish many interesting articles that can be helpful as you prep your own taxes.
“Alexa, tell me an IRS fact.” If you have enabled this skill, then you’ll have the opportunity to hear a series of random facts about the IRS. The truth is that this might not help you with your taxes in any practical way. However, you can use it to lighten the mood so that you don’t get overly stressed as you work on your taxes. Schedule period breaks as you work to ask for IRS facts. You might even ask Alexa to set a timer to remind you to take that IRS Facts break.
Check Your Refund with TurboTax Skill for Amazon Alexa
If you filed your taxes with TurboTax you can ask Alexa questions about when you will get your refund. First, you’ll have to enable TurboTax in the skills section of the Alexa app. Then you’ll have to enter your TurboTax user ID and password and create a four-digit personal key. Then, you can ask Alexa questions about your tax refund.
You might say, “Alexa, ask TurboTax when I will get my refund.” Alternatively, you can ask about the amount of the refund.
If you want to play with Alexa a little bit, then ask her, “how should I spend my tax refund?”
Get Ready for Next Year
Hopefully someday Alexa will actually be able to provide significant help with doing your taxes. Right now she can just do the above basic things. However, there are some great skills that you can use throughout the year to make your tax filing go more smoothly.
Daily Expense Skill
This tool helps you track your business expenses so that you have them organized in one place. This is helpful for budgeting throughout the year. You can receive a daily, weekly, and monthly report. Then, come tax time, you have all of your potential deduction information in one place.
If you try this skill and it doesn’t work for you for any reason, there are several other expense trackers that you can try. Track Expenses, Track My Expenses, Expense Manager, and Welto are each worth checking out. Find the one that works best for you then stick with it to make next year’s taxes easier.
Donating to charity is a great thing to do. It may also help reduce your taxes. Enable Charity Navigator in Alexa. Then, throughout the year, say, “Alexa, I want to donate.” There are more than two dozen charities listed in this tool so you can easily donate to a cause that you care about.
If you use Prudential for your retirement accounts you can do a lot with those accounts by enabling their skill via Alexa. Your retirement accounts play an important role in your income taxes, so staying on top of this throughout the year is beneficial when tax time comes around.
You might also like to enable the One Minute Retirement Tip with Ashley to get tips about retirement throughout the year.