Saving & Spending Taxes

Keeper Review [2024]: Is It the Right Option for Freelancers?

Keeper scans your accounts to look for expenses that might qualify for deductions so you don’t have to dig for receipts during tax time.

Updated May 15, 2024
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Keeper

OUR VIEW

Tax preparation is an adulting task that most of us dread. It can be monotonous, especially if you’re a freelancer juggling multiple 1099s. Enter Keeper: a full-service tax filing software that’s designed with small businesses and freelancers in mind. Keeper can take the headache out of tracking and categorizing your expenses — and the best part? It might just help lower your tax bill significantly.

While all of this probably sounds appealing, you may be wondering if Keeper is the best option for you. After all, in the world of expense tracking and tax software, there’s definitely no shortage of options. In this Keeper review, you’ll learn if this company is legit, how it works, and if it’s worth it for you.

Pros

Potential tax-bill reductions
Easy record keeping
Free resources and tools

Cons

Limited accounting features
May not be the most affordable option
How we evaluate products

What is Keeper?

Keeper (formerly Keeper Tax) is a full-service tax filing software that helps independent contractors track work-related expenses that may qualify for tax deductions. The company was co-founded in 2018 by Paul Koullick and David Kang and is headquartered in San Francisco. According to its website, it has helped over 1 million customers find tax savings since then.

Besides helping you track work-related expenses throughout the year, Keeper can handle your tax filing. The Keeper app is available for iOS and Android. At the time of writing, it has an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars from customers in the App Store and a 4.7-star rating in Google Play.

How does Keeper work?

Freelancers, gig workers, self-employed professionals, and small business owners must set aside money to pay state and federal taxes, as tax isn’t withheld by an employer. On top of income tax, self-employed workers usually have to pay self-employment tax, which can take a sizable bite out of their earnings.

Tracking your work-related expenses and claiming them as deductions can help you keep more money in your pocket. Keeper aims to take the hassle out of storing receipts and tracking and monitoring transactions. Here’s a breakdown of its features:

  • Expense scans: After you link your credit card or bank account to the app, Keeper will automatically monitor your bank statements to find tax-deductible expenses. The app can connect to more than 20,000 financial institutions.
  • Bookkeeping by text: A Keeper bookkeeper will send you text messages up to once a day to ask if purchases are work-related. You text back yes or no to have your purchases categorized as an expense to write off.
  • Tax filing: State and federal tax filing are included in your Keeper subscription.
  • Export your data: Instead of filing your taxes with Keeper, you can choose to export your data into a spreadsheet if you have an active subscription.

Besides the actual service, Keeper offers some free tax tools. There’s a tax calculator you can use to estimate your quarterly tax payments and a tax bill calculator that can estimate how much you’ll owe for the entire year. These calculators can help you figure out how to manage your money each month so you don’t get surprised by an unforeseen tax bill.

The website also has guides that discuss self-employed tax tips, such as how to qualify for home office and car-related deductions.

Keeper: products and pricing

Here’s a rundown of the Keeper product offerings and how much they cost:

Plan Cost What's included
Monthly $20 per month
  • Automatic tax break detection
  • Unlimited tax expert assistance
  • Tax resources
Annual $192 per year
  • Automatic tax break detection
  • Unlimited tax expert assistance

  • Tax resources
  • Federal and state taxes
  • Expert review before filing

Keeper: pros and cons

Pros

So we’ve covered what Keeper is, how it works, and who it’s for. What are the pros?

  • Potential tax-bill reductions: Keeper connects to your financial accounts and scans your transactions to identify possible tax write-offs that could save you money.
  • Easy record keeping: Recording what is and isn’t tax-deductible is simple; you just tell Keeper through text which purchases are work-related or not.
  • Free resources and tools: Keeper offers free tools like quarterly tax calculators. Estimating your tax payments early in the year could help you avoid making costly quarterly tax mistakes.

Cons

As for the cons, here are some drawbacks to keep in mind when considering Keeper.

  • Limited accounting features: Managing your expenses with Keeper will cost you $192 per year. However, the service doesn’t come with accounting features and reports you could get with a system like Quickbooks. That said, Quickbooks doesn’t appear to offer the convenience of purchase categorization through text. If you like that feature, Keeper, despite being limited in its accounting features, could be the better choice.
  • May not be the most affordable option: Filing your federal and state taxes with Keeper is included in the $192 per year subscription, but people who make less than $79,000 per year are able to file for free with IRS partners, so weigh your options and determine what would be best for you. 

FAQs about Keeper

Is Keeper legit?

Keeper is a legitimate company created in 2018 and accredited by the Better Business Bureau. Keeper has an A+ rating using the BBB proprietary grading system and 4.7 out of 5 stars. 

Complaints by customers unhappy with the service left a negative review of the actual tax filing process. Based on that feedback, you might choose to use the app to track and monitor your working expenses and go with another tax filing service for the actual filing.

How much does Keeper cost?

The fee for expense tracking is $20 per month but doesn't include state or federal tax filing. For that, you'd have to choose the annual plan, which costs $192 per year. 

If you use the app, you might want to consider exporting information from Keeper to input into another tax software. People who make less than $79,000 can file federal taxes for free with one of the IRS partners.

Do you need to buy Keeper every year?

Keeper has an expense tracking service that costs $20 per month, or $192 annually for full-service tax filing.

What makes Keeper different from other tax software?

Keeper stands out among the best tax software packages because it specializes in helping independent workers keep track of business expenses. The company also has a mobile app, so a log of your work-related expenses is always at your fingertips.

With that said, self-employed workers running a consulting or creative business might benefit from using a full-service accounting system that tracks expenses but also tracks invoices and comes with accounting reports, such as profit and loss statements. These reports can help you track how you make money, your expenses, and other performance metrics that help you make business decisions.

Bottom line

Keeper is a service that can take the stress out of tax filing for freelancers and gig workers. Instead of scrambling to find all of your receipts at the end of the year, you can use the Keeper app to monitor your work-related purchases all year round.

Reducing your tax responsibility with potential tax deductions found by the app means you could start the year thinking about what to do with your tax refund instead of trying to pull money together for your IRS tax bill. This can be handy whether you've recently figured out how to start a business or you have an established client roster.

It’s worth noting, however, that the app does come at a price. There’s a monthly subscription fee and a fee to export your information. Before signing up for Keeper, consider the price tag and compare it to other expense-tracking and tax-filing services to find the best option for you.

Potential tax-bill reductions
Easy record keeping
Free resources and tools

Author Details

Taylor Medine

Taylor Medine is a freelance writer who's covered all things personal finance for the last seven years. She enjoys writing financial product reviews and guides on budgeting, saving, repaying debt, and building credit.