GoodApril tax planning helps you predict and correct tax mistakes before they happen, saving you money and agony in April. Conversation with Mitchell Fox, Co-Founder.
Q: I’m guessing taxes were a pain in the butt for you and the idea for GoodApril was born.
Exactly. It developed from Benny’s (co-founder) personal experience during the year he was finishing his MBA. He had paid off a significant amount of his student loan debt and realized that his income was slightly too high to be eligible to deduct the interest on his payments from his taxes. He could have easily contributed 1% or 2% more to his 401K to qualify to deduct them, saving him hundreds on his tax bill. In this case, he realized it only when filing, when it was too late to make a change. He realized it should have been possible to know about a savings opportunity like that technologically, but that no solutions existed.
We want people to know in advance what their tax return will look like, and how to pay only their fair share to Uncle Sam.
Q: This idea spoke to you?
A: Absolutely. It resonated because I had been a consultant previously, working independently. I had frustrating experiences with my own tax return because I neglected to withhold any tax from the contract income I was earning, and ended up owing nearly $5,000 come Tax Day. I would have loved to have avoided something so painful and it should be simple.
Q: Taxes are such detailed beasts. Where do you start in order to help the most people?
A: We are starting with a focus on the most common situations, and will build the product to handle increasing complexity over time. We have also tried to focus on where people have the greatest pain – that’s a big part of why we’re focused on freelancers and self-employed people. Their burden of tax planning is the greatest, given the IRS requirement for them to file quarterly estimated taxes and the greater savings opportunities available to them in the form of deductible business expenses.
Q: If I’m a first-time user, what’s my experience look like?
A: Our first product is a tax “report card” of sorts. You upload your tax return – the form 1040 – and get an analysis of how much more you’re going to owe in the year ahead because of tax law changes and savings opportunities you missed out on. We’re now building a real-time version of our product, and our goal is to be in beta tests with real customers by the end of the TechStars program. The product will enable you to receive tax advice and track tax related expenses throughout the year. We will follow along with your financial life, forecasting what you’re going to owe while finding savings for you, making your next Tax Day a non-event.