Tax Apps for your phone

Yes, there are apps for managing different aspects of filing your taxes on the go. Some of these apps help estimate taxes or check on refunds, one will actually file your very easy tax return, then some contain helpful reference material.

While few people actually like doing their taxes, these phone apps can make the process a little easier. Whether you need to track business expenses or trip mileage, your phone is a great way to keep track of important tax information.

Know this though, not all tax apps are created equal. Just like every other app category, there are good ones and those that should never have seen the light of day. With increasing concern about identity theft and malware apps, it’s critical to know that the tax apps you’re using for your most sensitive information are ones that you can trust.

Whatever did people do before cell phones?


The IRS still needs to learn how the Web works. With that said, it’s lack of Internet prowess hasn’t stopped it from releasing an official IRS smartphone app this year for Android and iOS devices. While the app is pretty bare bones and doesn’t allow you to file your taxes on your smartphone, it does let you check the status of your tax refund and get updates from the IRS. It also has numbers and times when you can call and ask questions. If you e-filed your taxes, you can check on their status in this app within 72 hours. You can download IRS2Go for free on the Google Play store or iTunes.

 TurboTax SnapTax

If you’re taxes are excessively simple (just one job, one state of employment, no deductions, make you less than $80,000, etc), the TurboTax SnapTax may be the best way for you to file your taxes. It allows you to answer some basic questions, make a profile, and take a photo of your W-2. In theory, you could finish your taxes in minutes. Not sure if you’re qualified? It’s a free download and after you answer some basic questions, it will tell you if you can use the mobile app to continue or if you need to use the full online version of TurboTax to proceed. If you are capable of using the phone, you’ll have to download a $19.99 key to file.

The only downside to SnapTax is its simplicity. Sometimes the app doesn’t explain, in full, why it has rejected your application and it only gives you two options once you finish: continue online or start over. Starting over erases all of the, admittedly short, work you’ve just done. Still, SnapTax is the best option (and possibly only) for filing taxes on a smartphone. It is available on the Android and iPhone app stores. Download SnapTax here.

 BNA Quick Tax Reference

Like IRS2Go, this app isn’t pretty and it doesn’t explain itself well. However, it does provide some valuable reference material, should you need it. Mileage rates, corporate tax rate schedules, individual tax rate schedules, standard deductions, retirement plan limits, and more are all in here in unfiltered tables. Head here for links to download or to learn more.


Yes, this is another TurboTax app, but it is a bit easier to use and more detailed than H&R Block’s Tax Central Tax Calculator. TurboTax is the leader in its category for a reason; its apps are functional, pretty, and easy to use. Obviously, this is an app for those with relatively simple taxes and a single job. You don’t have to sign up to use it. Simply enter your wages, marital status, earnings, and deductions and TaxCaster pumps out a quick estimate of what you kind of refund you might receive. The app is available on Android and iPhone, but if you’re bored, an online version is available as well.


Keeping track of expenses and receipts is one of the most frustrating parts of doing your taxes. iXpenseIt (FYI Mobileware, $4.99) is an easy solution for tracking all the information you’ll need come tax time. The app is password protected and you can create your own expense categories. You can also take a quick snapshot of a receipt to view later. 

Trip Cubby

If you need to keep track of your mileage for tax deduction purposes, Trip Cubby (The Application Cubby LLC, $6.99) is a slick app that will help you keep a handle on this info. You can quickly add your mileage data and chart your deduction categories. The app will also export all of your data to an Excel file via email. 

Organize Your Receipts-ShoeBoxed


© 2012, Bruce McFarland. All rights reserved.

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