TurboTax brings new iPhone, iPad offerings for tax season

Jan 18, 2012
Finance

Tax season is nearly upon us once again, and that means stress and numbers for many of us. But if you’re a TurboTax user, there are quite a few handy apps that can get you through April 15. Each year, TurboTax rolls out a few apps that make tax season go a little easier. They […]

Tax season is nearly upon us once again, and that means stress and numbers for many of us. But if you’re a TurboTax user, there are quite a few handy apps that can get you through April 15.

Each year, TurboTax rolls out a few apps that make tax season go a little easier. They also show off the versatility of your iOS devices. Your iPhone can file your taxes with TurboTax’s help, which is a pretty nifty trick.

The app that makes it possible is called TurboTax SnapTax, and it’s useful for people without dependents or taxes that are not too complex. It also takes out all the heavy lifting from your filing, because you don’t need to enter any figures. Just use your iPhone to snap a photo of your W-2 and it automatically reads it, enters all the information onto your tax filing and makes it ready to send off, all without any hassle and without even the need for a computer.

TurboTax’s filing app for the iPad is even more versatile. As MacWorld reports, you’re not limited to having simple taxes with no dependents when you have the power of the iPad with which to work. TurboTax for iPad allows you to enter figures and work through your taxes much like you can on the company’s website, allowing for a more detailed, complete filing and more complex work. The app also lets you import last year’s taxes if you used TurboTax to file them, and import more information from financial institutions and the like without having to re-enter all the information.

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Both apps also give you access to help from TurboTax’s “tax experts” through online chat, and let you file straight from the apps. The apps themselves are free, but TurboTax charges for the filing: $20 for your 1040EZ with SnapTax, $30 for your federal filing with the iPad app, and another $37 for your state filing.

Once you’ve got all your taxes in the works, TurboTax has a solution to help you keep an eye out for your refund check, too. It’s called MyTaxRefund, and it’ll track how long you have to wait for a check if the government is sending you money back. It’ll tell you if your return has been accepted or not and whether your electronic refund is in the works. You can even gauge your refund before you file with some basic information using another TurboTax app, TaxCaster. Enter your numbers and TaxCaster forecasts an approximation of what you might owe, or what might be owed to you.

All of TurboTax’s apps are free, although using them might run up some fees. If you’re a fan of the software online, however, it can be nice to have a mobile alternative to sitting in front of a computer, entering numbers for a few hours. The apps can help a stressful time of year go a little easier, although they can’t really cut your yearly tax bill. Unfortunately, there’s not really an app for that.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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