It’s tax season, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve been putting off filing your return. Who wants to go through all of those forms after a long day at work or give up a full Saturday to get the documentation together? Well, procrastinate no more—these handy apps will help you seriously simplify the process.
1. TurboTax SnapTax
Love TurboTax? The popular tax filing software company offers a full suite of apps to help you file, estimate your refund, and find out when you can (hopefully) expect to find that chunk of cash sitting in your bank account.
Of these, the SnapTax app (available for Android, iPhone, and Kindle), which claims to “get your taxes done in 10 minutes,” is by far the handiest—if you’ve got a straightforward claim to file. You simply download the app (for free), snap a photo of your W-2, answer a few questions, and file from the app or online.
It does cost $24.99 to file, but you don’t pay until you’re done—which is good, because the app isn’t for everyone. If you don’t own a home, only have W-2, interest, or unemployment income, and have earned less than $100K (or $120K if filing jointly) in 2012, this app should work for you. If your situation is more complicated, look into other options.
2. H&R Block 1040EZ Tax App
If you're not wedded to using TurboTax, H&R Block’s 1040 EZ Tax App, available for both iPhone and Android, is the one for you. You'll get the convenience of filing from your smartphone, plus the reassurance of knowing you’ll get free audit support and representation from an H&R Block agent.
Like Turbo Tax’s SnapTax, H&R Block's app allows you to simply take a picture of your W-2 to import your income data for filing. It won’t help those with more complicated tax situations, either, but it does have the added benefit of free filing for both your federal and state returns.
3. TaxACT Central and DocVault
TaxACT doesn’t yet have a smartphone app for filing your claim, but its TaxACT Central app has handy features like an interactive checklist and a calendar of due dates, which will help you get organized for tax season whether you file through the site or not.
TaxACT’s DocVault app is particularly useful—it allows you to snap a photo of your important tax documents, edit them if necessary, and save them within the app throughout the year, so that you don’t have to dig through your desk drawers come tax time. Just import the images into TaxACT, and you’ll be ready to file!
Both TaxACT apps are free and available for iPhone and Android.
Just have some tax questions you’d like answered? Check out the free AskaCPA app, available for iPhone and Android, to get valuable tax information directly from a CPA. Plus, you’ll get access to a database of questions and answers from other users.
Need more help? The app will also give you listings for local accountants who can step in with more guidance.
Of course, any round-up of tax apps would be remiss if it ignored the official mobile app of the IRS. Available for both Android and iPhone, the app allows you to request your tax records (which will be mailed to you within several business days), check your refund status, get tax updates and daily tips, as well as follow the IRS on social media. But don’t get distracted by the IRS YouTube channel or Tumblr (yep, they exist!)—take advantage of these apps and get filing!