Possible organization benefits are threefold. Missing fewer deductible expenses may reduce tax liabilities. A pulled-together tax file requires less of your time sorting and tracking. Plus, less time on a preparer's end, which could reduce fees. According to the National Society of Accountants, the average tab for an itemized 2013 federal and state return will be $261; $152 for non-itemized.
But even with newer technologies, taxpayers still face some work scanning, monitoring and tracking. "It's like home exercise equipment," said Tankersley. "If you don't use it, it doesn't matter what you bought."
Miles driven for medical appointments, charitable endeavors and business meetings (if unreimbursed) may be deductible--assuming you remember to write down the details. Apps such as MileBug, for iOS, Android and Windows Phone, make it easier to track qualifying trips as you take them. Users can opt to have their trip tracked via GPS, or manually enter odometer readings to conserve battery life, said Spirrison. The $2.99 version of MileBug uses more detailed GPS tracking than the free, lite version. Estimated reimbursement is based on current IRS per-mile rates--and don't forget tolls and parking.
The Internal Revenue Service's free app for iOS and Android offers news updates and tax tips from the agency, but the real draw is its refund tracker, said Tankersley. Last year's government shutdown has prompted the IRS to push back the opening of filing season from Jan. 21 to Jan. 31, delaying some refunds. "Tracking your refund online is going to be important," he said.
(Read more: What same-sex couples need to know about taxes)
Instead of handing over a box of papers to your preparer, hoarders of receipts can send them all to Shoeboxed. "You actually sent the company your receipts, and they scan the documents for you and upload them," said Danielle Cassagnol, a spokeswoman for the Consumer Electronics Association. (Users can also email documents, or send pics from their phone or tablet using the free iOS or Android app.) From there, add docs to accounting software or forward to your tax preparer. Prices range from $9.95 to $99.95 per month depending on the volume of documents and turnaround speed.