Tax season is a breeze with these Android apps

Feb 7, 2012
Finance
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Most of you have just received your tax documents from your employer in the past week, so now it’s time to get to the good stuff: your tax refund. There’s dozens of Android apps to help you along the way, from tax calculators to tracking services and other resources. Living in the smartphone era, there’s never been an easier way to manage your finances and stay on top of your taxes. TurboTax has already been updated for 2012, so are you ready for tax season?

TurboTax SnapTax

Intuit is prepared for tax, having already updated its Android app just in time to file. You can file your taxes directly from the app, and it offers a tool to estimate your tax refund as well. Designed for taxpayers with simple tax returns (1040EZ), the SnapTax feature lets you submit a photo of your W-2 with your device camera, transferring it directly onto your tax return form. The app also lets you check the status of your return, so you can track the process all the way to the bank. Intuit has two other helpful Android apps for tax season, including Tax Caster for estimates and MyTaxRefund for tracking. TurboTax SnapTax lets you do all your tax work on your Android. Use the camera phone to take photos of completed tax forms, complete the detailed forms in the app, and submit your e-file securely. This Intuit-powered app works for federal and state taxes, and will help you through the basic filing process.

IRS2Go

Developed by the IRS, this free Android app is a mobile resource with tax tips and other information as you make your way through deductions, write-offs and receipts. There’s also aggregated resources for IRS outlets across the web, including their Twitter feed, a daily newsletter delivered via email during tax season, and one-click call buttons to contact various departments within the IRS organization. What most of you will be using this app for, however, is to check on the status of your refund check. The IRS is also making a go of the mobile scene, with a special IRS2Go app for Android users. Free, this app tracks the status of your refund, delivers tips as well as the IRS Twitter stream, and offers instant access to IRS customer service, as needed. If you want official word on your tax returns, this is the app for you.

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H&R MyBlock Mobile App

One of the more popular tax services available, H&R Block was quick to launch an Android app relatively early. The app comes with a checklist of things you’ll need to file taxes, a tax estimator, a glossary and resource guide for frequently asked tax questions and related news updates. With the app you can also check on the status of your federal tax refund, search for nearby offices and set up an appointment to sit down with an H&R Block expert. With the Block Live companion Android app, you can also take photos of your tax documents and H&R Block will transfer them as part of the web-based Block Live service. H&R Block has gotten into the mobile game with its first Android app, Tax Central. Free, this app lets you check the status of your Federal refund, search Q&As from other users, and create a custom checklist for your personal tax filings. The app also has a tax refund estimator, and features news and updates in its video gallery. Ready to sit down with H&R Block? There’s a GPS locator included in the app as well.

BNA Quick Tax Reference

You may not want to file your taxes using a mobile app, but they’re still great resources. From Bloomberg comes the BNA Quick Tax Reference, putting tons of relevant information at your fingertips. Also updated for 2012, BNA’s handy guide gives you access to U.S. tax rates and schedules, along with historic data going back to 2007. You’ll get standard mileage rates, corporate and individual tax rate schedules, standard deductions, capital gains, income tax rates for estates, trusts and gift taxes, and pension codes. While many mobile apps offer filing options for basic tax forms, BNA is a useful tool for the more complex matters of tax returns. BNA Quick Tax Reference is a great tool for filers, with a handy guide for tax rates, mileage rates, corporate and individual tax rate schedules and estimates. You can determine deductions for your house and business, calculate capital gains and dividends, and determine needs around trust, estate and gift taxes. If you’re keen on filing the right way, this free Android app is indispensable.

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Shoeboxed Receipt Tracker

Sometimes the most tedious aspects of tax season is digging through receipts and tracking expenses. Shoeboxed takes some of the burden off of you by organizing receipts for you. You can send in your receipts or take photos of receipts and Shoeboxed will enter the date, total, payment type, store and category on your behalf. And if you do this throughout the year, you’ll have a tidy, digitized report that’s ready for IRS submission with little extra effort on your part. It simplifies the process of tracking expenses, calculating deductions, and supports exports to QuickBooks, Quicken, FreshBooks and more.

TaxCaster Mobile

TaxCaster Mobile is another Intuit app that calculates your federal tax refund. It’s a free reference tool for estimating your tax returns, seeing how much you’ll get back, as well as how much you’ll owe. TaxCaster goes through a series of basic questions, such as marital status and age, to determine tax return estimates.

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