Personal Finance

My brother is a CPA practicing in South Florida. Around this time of the year he tells me the difficulties many of his clients have in maintaining their financial records. The lack of record keeping on behalf of his clients often hinders his ability to fully maximize their tax refunds. About six months ago I read about Mint.com in a magazine and was intrigued by what the website had to offer. After using the site for a few months I strongly recommend it to others that I discuss personal finance with. Further, I believe that Mint can help maximize your tax refund.

Prior to using Mint, I thought that reviewing my online bank statements was sufficient to get a snapshot of my personal finances. However, after using Mint, I realize that I was strongly mistaken. When you register for Mint you will input various information regarding your bank accounts, credit cards, loan accounts, investments, and property. By providing Mint with this information, you will have an accurate picture of your overall finances on one website.

Next, Mint offers tax preparation benefits. Mint characterizes your transactions and puts the monthly data in a pie graph. For example, if you purchased flowers from ProFlowers on Valentines day with your Visa card, Mint will log the transaction under that account as a purchase from ProFlowers and categorize it automatically as a gift. Having your transactions categorized will assist your accountant or yourself in determining potential credits and deductions you may be eligible for when completing your tax return.

This is just a snapshot of what Mint has to offer. Getting your personal finances in order is step one to maximizing your tax refund. Whether you prepare your return yourself or have an accountant do it, Mint is an excellent, easy-to-use, and free personal finance service.

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