We’re down to the last 10 days of the U.S. tax season and that means many procrastinators are either panicking or are calmly filling out their extension form. Of course, filing an extension doesn’t alleviate responsibility from paying any taxes by April 15, so why not just file the real deal and get it over with? Part of the issue is finding the time to fill out the complicated tax forms, while it can also be a challenge to gather up and total those valuable tax deductions. Here’s a list of five mobile apps to help you out, since after all, if you’re mobile and connected, the excuse of no time goes out the window!
1. TurboTax SnapTax (iOS and Android). Although limited to 1040EZ form filers, you can actually submit your taxes right from a handset with this app. It’s free to try, but $19.95 if you actually plan to file from a phone. Manual data entry is kept to a minimum thanks to the ability to take a picture of W2 forms with a smartphone camera: the software will try to scan and import the income data so you don’t have to type it yourself.
2. TurboTax iPad Mobile App (iOS – iPad only). If your taxes are too complex for the basic 1040EZ form and you have an iPad, you’re in luck. TurboTax supplements their smartphone app with a full-featured title for Apple’s iPad. Like the phone software, you can try the software at no change and then pay an in-app purchase fee to actually file electronically. Prices to file range from $29.99 to $74.99, with a state tax package available for an additional $36.99
3. IRS2Go (iOS and Android). This one won’t actually help much until after you file, but it’s worth a mention. The free app can track the status of any refund expected from the government. But the software is useful even for those expecting to pay: you can subscribe to email tax tips received throughout the year, which can help tax planning strategies along the way. Since the app sounds helpful, I’ll let the IRS off with a warning because they say the iTouch, a product that doesn’t exist, is also supported.
4. H&R Block Tax Central (iOS and Android). Another free app geared more for tax planning and informational purposes, this one is chock full of tips, a tax glossary and a customized tax checklist to help you gather information before filing. A simple tax estimator can offer some sense if you’re writing a check to the government or not and a Video Gallery provides updated information to help you file smartly. Of course, being an H&R Block app, you can also find a local Block office to have the company assist you with your filing.
5. Tax Receipts Shoebox (BlackBerry). It took some searching to find a useful tax app for the BlackBerry, but this one could be handy. Although geared towards professionals who track billable time, the $2.99 app can also track taxable receipt data including snapshot pictures of the receipts themselves. That’s definitely a limited use scenario, but could become very valuable at this time of the year since many of us scramble for the receipts that we hope to have kept throughout the calendar year.
I’m already done filing my taxes (and writing a check) by doing them the old fashioned way. Did you use any mobile tax software this year that should be added to this list?