Monthly Archives: March 2015

Good News: IRS Audit Rate Drops

Your chances of facing an IRS audit rate dropped to the lowest level in at least a decade in 2014 and are expected to fall further this year, according to new data USA TODAY obtained from the nation’s tax agency.

The audit rate, the percentage of individuals’ tax returns IRS revenue agents examined either in person or via correspondence, fell to 0.86% last year, the data show. That represents the lowest rate since at least fiscal year 2005.

After rising steadily from 2005-10, the number of IRS audits for individual taxpayers fell 21.4% during the succeeding five years, the data show.

The IRS audited slightly more than 1.2 million individuals last year, down more than 162,000 from 2013, and a drop of nearly 339,000 from 2010.

Audits fell in virtually every individual category and across income levels, even as the number of individual tax returns filed rose in all but two of the past nine years, the data show.

The IRS audited slightly less than 1.1 million taxpayers with income of less than $200,000 in 2014, a drop from more than 1.4 million in 2010. While nearly 41,000 individuals with annual income of $1 million or more faced audits in 2012, the number of similar audits in that category dropped to just more than 34,000 last year, the data show.

The audit declines coincide with recent drops in IRS funding and a steady falloff in revenue agents. It also comes as the tax agency seeks congressional approval for a fiscal year 2016 budget hike after being buffeted over dwindling taxpayer services and allegations it targeted conservative tax-exempt groups for increased scrutiny.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen conceded in a Monday phone interview that the tax agency is “not the world’s most beloved.” But he warned that the audit rate decline could eventually “corrode” Americans’ faith in the federal tax system and undermine voluntary payment compliance.

“At this point, we do have a tax compliance ethos and people pay their fair share,” said Koskinen, who’s expected to cite the audit trend during a Tuesday speech to New York State Bar Association’s tax section. But he added: “If you’re in Des Moines and you’re writing that check, and you feel that maybe your neighbor down the street isn’t, or is getting away with something, that’s a problem.”

Arguing for additional budget funding, Koskinen cites IRS data that show restoring the number of revenue agents would produce nearly $1.3 billion in new government enforcement revenue once new hires complete training and reach full working potential in fiscal year 2018.

Asked whether the IRS could shift workers from other jobs to revenue agent duties, he said audits require time-consuming training. Additionally, the tax agency’s overall personnel count is down 13,000, a total that will rise to an estimated 16,000 this year, he said.

“Anyplace in the IRS is short-staffed,” said Koskinen.

However, the agency’s operations and quest for increased funding face “especially tough scrutiny,” Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who chairs the Senate Committee on Finance, told Koskinen during a Feb. 3 budget hearing.

“And unfortunately, the IRS’ operations do not appear to be able to withstand such scrutiny at this time,” added Hatch, who cited the agency’s treatment of tax-exempt groups and other issues.




Are You Deducting Your Home Improvements?

It’s no secret that finishing your basement will increase your home’s value. What you may not know is the money you spend on this type of so-called capital improvement could also help lower your tax bill when you sell your house.

Tax rules let you add capital improvement expenses to the cost basis of your home. Why is that a big deal? Because a higher cost basis lowers the total profit—capital gain, in IRS-speak—you’re required to pay taxes on.

The tax break doesn’t come into play for everyone. Most homeowners are exempted from paying taxes on the first $250,000 of profit for single filers ($500,000 for joint filers). If you move frequently, maybe it’s not worth the effort to track capital improvement expenses. But if you plan to live in your house a long time or make lots of upgrades, saving receipts is a smart move.

What Counts As a Capital Improvement?

Although you may consider all the work you do to your home an improvement, the IRS looks at things differently. A rule of thumb: A capital improvement increases your home’s value, while a non-eligible repair just returns something to its original condition. According to the IRS, capital improvements have to last for more than one year and add value to your home, prolong its life, or adapt it to new uses.

Capital improvements can include everything from a new bathroom or deck to a new water heater or furnace. Page 9 of IRS Publication 523 has a list of eligible improvements.

There are limitations. The improvements must still be evident when you sell. So if you put in wall-to-wall carpeting 10 years ago and then replaced it with hardwood floors five years ago, you can’t count the carpeting as a capital improvement. Repairs, like painting your house or fixing sagging gutters, don’t count. The IRS describes repairs as things that are done to maintain a home’s good condition without adding value or prolonging its life.

There can be a fine line between a capital improvement and a repair, says Erik Lammert, former tax research specialist at the National Association of Tax Professionals. For instance, if you replace a few shingles on your roof, it’s a repair. If you replace the entire roof, it’s a capital improvement. Same goes for windows. If you replace a broken window pane, repair. Put in a new window, capital improvement.

One exception: If your home is damaged in a fire or natural disaster, everything you do to restore your home to its pre-loss condition counts as a capital improvement.

How Capital Improvements Affect Your Gain

To figure out how improvements affect your tax bill, you first have to know your cost basis. The cost basis is the amount of money you spent to buy or build your home including all the costs you paid at the closing: fees to lawyers, survey charges, transfer taxes, and home inspection, to name a few. You should be able to find all those costs on the settlement statement you received at your closing.

Next, you’ll need to account for any subsequent capital improvements you made to your home. Let’s say you bought your home for $200,000 including all closing costs. That’s the initial cost basis. You then spent $25,000 to remodel your kitchen. Add those together and you get an adjusted cost basis of $225,000.

Now, suppose you’ve lived in your home as your main residence for at least two out of the last five years. Any profit you make on the sale will be taxed as a long-term capital gain. You sell your home for $475,000. That means you have a capital gain of $250,000 (the $475,000 sale price minus the $225,000 cost basis). You’re single, so you get an automatic exemption for the $250,000 profit. End of story.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Had you not factored in the money you spent on the kitchen remodel, you’d be facing a tax bill for that $25,000 gain that exceeded the automatic exemption. By keeping receipts and adjusting your basis, you’ve saved about $5,000 in taxes based on the  15% tax rate on capital gains. Well worth taking an hour a month to organize your home improvement receipts, don’t you think?

The top rate for most homesellers remains 15%. For sellers in the 39.6% income tax bracket, the cap gains rate is 20%.

Watch Out for These Basis-Busters

Some situations (below) can lower your basis, thus increasing your risk of facing a tax bill when you sell. Consult a tax adviser.

  • If you use the actual cost method and take depreciation on a home office, you have to subtract those deductions from your basis.
  • Any depreciation available to you because you rented your house works the same way.
  • You also have to subtract subsidies from utility companies for making energy-related home improvements or energy-efficiency tax credits you’ve received.
  • If you bought your home using the federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers, you’ll have to deduct that from your basis too, says Mark Steber, chief tax officer at Jackson Hewitt Tax Services.


2 Deduction Options When You Work From Home

If you work from home, even on a part-time basis, you can probably save some money come tax time by deducting your home office costs.

The challenge has always been the 43-line, MENSA-like IRS form home office workers had to complete, which may have kept some from even taking advantage of this home tax benefit.

Now, there’s an optional, simplified home office deduction: Take $5/sq. ft. up to 300 feet or $1,500 and, boom, you’re done.

What’s the catch? Trade-off is a better word: You may not be able to deduct as much compared with the regular method. The IRS says the average home office deduction has been around $3,000. So consider the value of your time against potential tax savings if you believe you’re eligible for more than the $1,500 cap.

Before you start spending your refund, however, there are a few rules you need to heed.

What Counts as a Home Office?

A room or defined area of your home that you use exclusively and on a regular basis for business and that meets either of these uses:

  • It’s your principal place of business, or
  • You see clients, customers, or patients there.

Exception to the “exclusive” rule: If you use your home as the sole location of your business and store products there, the room or area where you store products can be used for other things. Say you use a room in your basement to make and store jewelry that’s also a TV room. If it’s the only fixed location of your business, you can use it to also watch TV.

What If You’re on the Road a Lot?

You don’t have to do all your work from home to take the home office deduction. If you’re an outside salesperson, you probably spend most of your work time elsewhere. But the home office has to be essential to your business, and you must spend substantial time there.  If you do your billing and other office work from your home office, and there’s no other location available to perform these functions, your home office should qualify for the deduction.

You can also qualify for the deduction if your employer requires you to work from home, as long as you don’t charge your employer rent.

A big catch: You must maintain the at-home office for your employer’s convenience, not your own. If you use your home office to finish reports at night or on weekends because you don’t want to work at your desk in your office downtown, you can’t claim the home office deduction.

But if your employer doesn’t have a headquarters and everyone works remotely, you’re good to go.

Also Covered Under the Tax Break

Separate structures on your property, like a detached garage you’ve converted to an office or studio.

Unlike an office inside your home, a separate structure doesn’t have to be your main place of business to qualify for a deduction. That’s because the IRS believes your family is less likely to use a separate structure as a part-time play area or den, says Mark Luscombe, principal analyst for tax and consulting at CCH. 

Two Ways to Deduct Home Office Expenses

1. Simplified home office deduction. We talked about this one above, but there are a few other particulars to note:

  • You can’t depreciate your home office, and your deduction is limited to your gross business income less business expenses.
  • If you use this deduction, you can still claim the deductions every homeowner gets, like mortgage interest, real estate taxes, and casualty losses. Put those on Schedule A.
  • Using the standard home office deduction won’t stop you from taking the deductions for other business expenses unrelated to your home, such as advertising, supplies, and employee wages.
  • You don’t need to keep track of individual expenses with this option. You do with the actual cost method.

2. Actual costs, which you list on Form 8829. To use this method, you figure the proportion of your home’s overall space devoted to your office and use that to calculate how much of your overall home expenses went toward your home office.

Example: If your office is 300 sq. ft. and your home is 3,000 sq. ft., your office takes up 10% of your home. So you can deduct 10% of your utility, mortgage interest, property taxes, and other home expenses. However, certain expenses that aren’t related directly to the home office, such as lawn care, aren’t included in the calculation.

Not sure how big your house is? Check the documents you received when you bought your home — there’s probably a detailed rendering — or measure the outside of your home and multiply length times width.

Do You Have to Stick with the Same Deduction Method Each Year?

Nope. Each year, you get to decide whether to use the standard or the actual-expense deduction.

What Can You Deduct When You Use the Long Form?

If you’re using Form 8829 to report your actual expenses and you’ve figured out what percentage of your home you use for business, you can apply that percentage to different home expenses. These include:

  • Mortgage interest
  • Real estate taxes
  • Utilities (heating, cooling, lights)
  • Home repairs and maintenance (so long as they benefit both the business and personal parts of the home)
  • Homeowners insurance premiums

Just take each expense and multiply it by your home office percentage to get the amount you can deduct as a business expense. So if you spend $150 a month on electricity, and your home office takes up 10% of your home, you can deduct $15 a month as a home office expense. That adds up to a $180 deduction per tax year.

Important limitation: Your home office deduction can’t exceed the amount of income you generate from the home office. So if you spend some of your work time on-site with a client and earn $1,500 there, you can’t claim more than $1,500 because it exceeds what you made at home.

Save bills or cancelled checks to prove what you spent in case of an IRS audit. Also, only repairs, like to the furnace, can be expensed; improvements must be depreciated.

Don’t Forget Depreciation

Depreciation is based on the idea that everything — even something like a home — wears out eventually. If you’re using the long form, figure home office depreciation by calculating the tax basis of your home:

1.  Add the purchase price to the cost of improvements.

2.  Subtract the value of the land it sits on.

3.  Multiply that cost basis by the percentage of your home used for work. This gives you the tax basis for your home office.

4.  Divide by 39 years.

For example:

  • Purchase price: $100,000
  • Value of land: $25,000
  • Cost basis: $75,000, plus cost of improvements you’ve made
  • Tax basis: $75,000 x 10% = $7,500
  • Depreciation deduction: $7,500/39 years*

*Usually, depreciation deductions for a home office are figured over a 39-year period. There are caveats. For instance, if your business opened after Jan. 1 in its first year, you need to calculate a factor of 39. For a crash course, read IRS Publication 946 or talk to a tax pro.

Keep in mind that depreciation deductions on your home office may increase the amount of profit on a home sale that’s subject to taxes. Most taxpayers don’t owe income tax on up to $250,000 of profit if you’re a single filer, $500,000 for joint filers. Consult with a qualified tax professional on how depreciation deductions affect your tax liability when you sell.

Special Rules for In-Home Care Providers

If you provide in-home daycare services for children, the elderly, or disabled persons as a licensed or authorized business, you don’t have to use the home work space exclusively to take the home office deduction.

You calculate your deduction by dividing the number of hours you used your home workspace to provide daycare services during the year by the total number of hours during the year.

For example, if you do daycare 40 hours a week for 50 weeks a year, that’s 2,000 hours a year, divided by the 8,760 hours in a regular year equals 22.8%. So you could take 22.8% of the $5 per sq. ft. simplified deduction for your daycare workspace.


Don’t Make These 8 Classic Tax-Filing Fails

Slipping up on your taxes can exact a high price. Some of the most frequently made blunders—silly things like entering the wrong Social Security number, spelling your name incorrectly, or putting in the wrong account numbers for direct deposit—hold up processing your return and any refund you might be due. That’s bad enough.

Other common mistakes cost you more than time. They cost you real money. Just by overlooking deductions, taxpayers give up an average of about $600 at tax time, according to research by Youssef Benzarti, an economics Ph.D. candidate at the University of California at Berkeley. He found that many people don’t itemize when they should—therefore passing over breaks such as the write-off for investment-related expenses. “Or,” says Benzarti, “they take only the easy deductions like mortgage interest and state taxes” and not harder-to-prove ones, such as charitable donations and use of a home office.

With April 15 fast approaching, a slew of tax pros were polled to find out what other savings taxpayers typically miss. Review your return to make sure you don’t commit any of these costly errors.  And of course, if you use a professional preparer, these issues shouldn’t be an issue!

1. Taking the wrong tax write-off for college

There are two mutually exclusive breaks you can use to ease the pain of paying for higher ed. People sometimes automatically take the $4,000 tuition and fees deduction because it sounds like the most money. But the $2,500 American Opportunity Tax Credit is typically a better deal,

says Melissa Labant, director of tax advocacy for the American Institute of CPAs. Here’s why: The tuition and fees deduction lowers the portion of your income subject to tax. “But a tax credit yields a dollar-for-dollar reduction in the taxes you owe,” says Labant.

You’re eligible for the full AOTC if you spend $4,000 on tuition and fees, as you can slash your taxes by 100% of the first $2,000 and 25% of the next $2,000. Also, your adjusted gross income must be $80,000 or less if single, $160,000 or less if married and filing jointly. (Partial credit is available for incomes up to $90,000 for singles and $180,000 for couples filing jointly.)

One caveat: You can’t take the AOTC for more than four years for any one dependent. So if your kid takes longer to graduate, you’ll be glad to have the tuition and fees deduction for year five.

2. Paying too much tax on investments you sold

At its simplest, your cost basis for figuring out the tax liability on an investment you’ve sold is the original price you paid for that investment. It’s subtracted from the price at which you sell in order to calculate capital gains or losses. Where it gets thorny is when you have to adjust your shares for such things as stock splits, reinvested dividends, capital gains distributions, and sales commissions.

Brokerages and mutual fund companies have been required to track cost basis for their customers since 2011 and 2012, respectively. But you have to calculate cost basis yourself on shares bought before those dates. Unfortunately, many investors forget to do that and end up paying more capital gains than they owe when they sell, says Kris Gretzschel, CPA and manager of the tax and financial planning team for Wells Fargo Advisors.

Say you purchased 100 shares of a stock for $100 per share and paid a $20 commission; your original cost basis is $10,020. Let’s assume you then received a $3-per-share dividend each year for five years that you automatically reinvested. Your new cost basis is $10,020 plus $1,500

($300 times five years) for the dividend, or $11,520. Now say you sell the stock for $18,000. Using the original cost basis instead of the adjusted one, you’d be paying taxes on $7,980 in gains vs. $6,480.

Online calculators like the one at can help you tally up your cost basis. Or you can use a service like, which charges $25 per transaction.

3. Leaving money on the table when changing jobs

High earners who had more than one employer during the year, this one’s for you. In 2014 each employer had to withhold 6.2% in Social Security taxes on the first $117,000 in income (the limit is $118,500 in 2015). “But that could lead the employers to withhold more taxes than you’re required to pay,” says Suzanne Shier, chief wealth planning and tax strategist for Northern Trust in Chicago.

Let’s say you worked for Company A for half the year and earned $62,000, then moved to Company B and earned $70,000. Each company would withhold taxes on your total earnings, but you should have paid taxes on only $117,000, not $132,000, and you would have overpaid by $930.

Tax prep software should catch this one, but paper filers may get snagged. Luckily, it’s an easy fix: “You can claim the money as a credit on line 71 of your 1040,” says Shier.

4. Blanking on what you saved

It’s not uncommon to forget money socked away in an IRA the previous year, especially since your broker doesn’t send you paperwork confirming contributions (IRS Form 5498) until after you file your taxes.

But if you forget to report a contribution to a traditional IRA and you qualify for a deduction—see IRS Publication 590-A—you will miss a break on your current taxes. If the contribution is nondeductible, you still need to file Form 8606 so that you don’t pay income taxes on a portion

of your withdrawals during retirement, notes Gretzschel. So call your brokerage to refresh your memory about 2014 contributions.

5. Missing out on money back for your home office

Moonlighters often opt to forgo the home-office deduction, both because it’s a hassle to keep track of the paperwork and because they’re worried about putting up red flags to IRS auditors.

As of last year, however, an alternative, simplified version of the write-off allows you to deduct $5 per square foot of office space up to $1,500 with no documentation whatsoever. Unlike the old method of calculation, no depreciation is taken on your home, which means the break will not affect capital gains when you sell, says Eric Bell, a CPA with Jones & Roth in Eugene, Ore.

6. Overpaying taxes on retirement distributions

People 70 or older and retired are required to withdraw certain amounts of money from 401(k)s and IRAs each year. When you begin receiving distributions, you have the option to have income taxes withheld. Call it a senior moment, but retirees sometimes forget that they chose to have taxes taken out, says Gretzschel.

They don’t look closely enough at the 1099-R forms and therefore don’t input the taxes paid into their 1040. As a result, they could end up paying the taxes twice—and the IRS may or may not catch the mistake, Gretzschel says.

7. Overlooking online largess

There’s been a big increase in online charitable giving, but many people forget to save emailed receipts as they do ones that come in the mail. “If you don’t have an organized electronic life, it’s hard to get receipts together,” says Shier.

She recommends searching your email in-box for “gift” and “donation.” If you are in the 28% bracket and discover $250 more in donations to report, you’ll reap $70 in tax savings.

8. Ignoring the write-off that is right in your hands

Those who itemize can write off certain investing and tax expenses—including tax-prep software, financial adviser fees, and rent on a safe-deposit box where you store securities—that exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income.

Bell says that those most likely to overcome the 2% hurdle on these “miscellaneous expenses” have modest income but a fairly large taxable portfolio that they pay an adviser to manage; many retirees who super-saved fit that bill. If you have an AGI of $100,000 and you have

$5,000 in investment-adviser fees (equating to 1% on a $500,000 portfolio), you’ll have to exclude the first $2,000, but can deduct the remaining $3,000.

While calculating your costs, don’t forget that you can add subscriptions to professional publications, business magazines, and investing magazines—including the one you’re reading now.



9 Must-Have Apps for Today’s Professionals

The typical modern workday is a combination of work at your desk, work on the phone, work on the run, work from remote locations, work at client offices, keeping up with the news – all while juggling your own personal life and staying connected with the lives of friends and family. Almost everyone has a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop, or some combination thereof — devices that can come with you and, more importantly, keep up with you as you move from one project to the next.

It’s likely you have familiarity with apps – those little programs, applications, that tie a virtual string around your finger, help you find your way when you get lost, remember your favorite songs, and point out the best restaurants. You might have your favorites, the apps you feel like you can’t live without, or you might be looking for that magic app that’s going to change (rule) your life.
After a poll of the CPA Practice Advisor thought leaders to find out which apps have made a difference in their work lives, here are the most popular apps that they recommend, along with some of their comments.

Evernote (iOS – Android)
Hands down, the favorite app of our thought leaders is Evernote. According to the manufacturers, Evernote is a suite of software and services designed for notetaking and archiving. A note can be a piece of formatted text, a full webpage or webpage excerpt, a photograph, a voice memo, or a handwritten note. Notes can also have file attachments.
Rick Richardson, CEO of Richardson Media & Technologies, LLC, is an Evernote fan. “It is the focus of all my research, storage and organization. It’s the way I’m going almost paperless. Don’t know what I’d do without it.”
If that’s not enough of an endorsement, here’s what Tom Hood, CEO of the Maryland Association of CPAs and the Business Learning Institute has to say: “Evernote is truly my second brain and I definitely need one of those! It runs across all devices – iPhone, iPad, and Mac laptop – and it collects and organizes almost all of my information in an easy to search, context rich environment. For example, while I am at a conference, when I take a photo of the agenda – it pops into Evernote with the date, time, and location stamp.”
“It not only saves the picture of the document but can search on the text (via Optical Character Recognition – OCR),” Hood added. “Like the feel of pen and paper? Evernote reads your writing and can search on your written notes just as easily. I use my Field Notes to take notes and snap pics every day so I always have all of my notes with me (plus the location where I was when I snapped it). Business cards are the same thing, plus Evernote converts cards into text, adds to contacts, and even offers to connect on LinkedIn. I can email documents to it, clip from websites, voice memo to it and, even tweet to it.”

TripIt (iOS – Android)
Many of our thought leaders listed TripIt as one of their favorites. TripIt, by Concur (which was recently acquired by SAP), organizes travel plans into an itinerary that has all of your trip details in one place.
Donny Shimamoto, founder and senior member of the IntrapriseTechKnowlogies LLC’s (ITK) consulting and management team, says that TripIt, “Is a must for any frequent traveler. Forward your air, hotel, or car rental confirmations to it and it puts it all together into one itinerary, including inserting maps between the airport and hotel, meeting to meeting, etc. I signed up for the Pro account which also provides me with flight status, baggage claim, and other up to the minute updates.”
John Higgins, co-founder of CPA Crossings, LLC, concurs (no pun intended!). “This is a travel itinerary app that populates every aspect of a trip automatically by simply forwarding the confirmation emails (airline, rental car, etc.) to TripIt and my office manager fills in the rest (meeting locations, etc.). The best part is when I get in the rental car, TripIt integrates directly to my navigation app on the phone, so no more getting lost!”

Uber (iOS – Android)
Uber is one of the new wave of ridesharing services available in large cities. According to the company website, you can, “Get a taxi, private car, or rideshare from your mobile phone. Uber connects you with a driver in minutes. Use our app in cities around the world.”
Jim Boomer, CIO of Boomer Consulting, and Mark Koziel, vice president of firm services and global alliances at the AICPA, are frequent travelers and enjoy the ease of using Uber for on-demand transportation. “When your flight is delayed and you arrive at 2:30am, there aren’t many cabs.  Uber is a convenient and quick tool to get you where you need to go without the long waits you experience with taxi companies.”  said Boomer.

Tallie (iOS – Android)
“Tallie has reduced my expense reporting time by at least one hour per week and integrates directly with and QBOL, said L. Gary Boomer, CEO of Boomer Consulting, Inc. “It has also reduced others’ time in the processing and integration of expense reports with The workflow is built into the app and the support is excellent.”
Tallie, an accounting solution for expense reports, is also a 2014 winner of a CPA Practice Advisor Innovation Award.

Dropbox (iOS – Android)
Dropbox is a free file sharing service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily with others. Several of our thought leaders use Dropbox regularly.
Leslie Shiner, owner of The ShinerGroup, uses Dropbox for access to often-used files. Futurist, author, and speaker Rebecca Ryan of Next Generation Consulting, uses Dropbox for sharing files with her team while she is on the road.

AroundMe (iOS – Android)
AroundMe is an app that allows users to quickly find nearby Points Of Interest (POI) such as restaurants, hotels, theaters, parking, hospitals and much more.
Dr. Bob Spencer, owner of Twenty Seconds in the Future and associate at K2 Enterprises, said that AroundMe “is a great app when traveling and looking a place to eat, restaurant, movie theater, mall, gas station and so forth near to you.”

Flipboard (iOS – Android)
According to the company website, Flipboard is your personal magazine. It’s a single place to discover, collect and share the news you care about. Add your favorite social networks, publications, and blogs to stay connected to the topics and people closest to you.
Brian Tankersley, director of strategic relationships for K2 Enterprises and owner of Brian F. Tankersley, Consulting and Professional Development, says that Flipboard “is a great visual news reader with seamless social sharing on all major platforms.”

Google Maps (iOS – Android)
Google Maps is a desktop and mobile web mapping service app provided by Google. It offers satellite imagery, streetmaps, and Street View perspectives, and also functions such as a route planner for traveling by vehicle or by foot.
Chris Frederiksen, chairman of 2020 Group USA, said he uses Google Maps “so I never get lost!”

Starbucks (iOS – Android)
And finally, we take a look at the Starbucks app. According to the folks at Starbucks, this app links to your registered Starbucks card so you can pay for purchases and earn Stars through your phone. You can also reload your card balance, find your nearest store, and even leave a digital tip for your barista.
Jennifer Wilson, partner and co-founder of ConvergenceCoaching, LLC, relies on her Starbucks app to help her find Starbucks locations when she travels.