Taxes Apps for Mobile Phones

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March 23, 2012iPhoneNo comments

There’s an “app” for everything these days – I’m still waiting for one that walks the dog (it may already exist but who has time to wade through everything in the App Store or the Android market), but now at that dreaded moment of the year known as tax time, there is one to do your taxes available in either mobile app store. It’s the Snap Tax app for mobile from Turbo Tax®.

Unlike all the time wasting apps available, this one has a very practical use, and turns the highly-dreaded annual chore into (pardon my cliché) a snap.

Snap Technology

Snap technology essentially one to “snap” a photo and import or export that information into a platform. The technology is most commonly known and used for bar-code scanning and comparative shopping.

Snaptax uses that technology to essentially turn efiling one’s tax form into a texting experience. This means you can walk down the street and instead of bumping into people and poles while texting, you can do these while working on your taxes. Or, instead of texting while driving in traffic, you can do you taxes. Seriously, it is a very practical thing for those of us who own smart phones. The data is securely saved at the Intuit Turbo Tax website so that you can literally work on your taxes at anytime, like airport layovers, while your spouse spends your refund you haven’t gotten yet on needless items, etc.

Availability

Snaptax is currently available only for Form 1040EZ which means:

  • You do not own a home
  • You do not have kids
  • You only have W-2s, interest or unemployment income
  • You did not earn over $80,000 as a single-filer or more than $100,000 as a married couple

Until recently, Snaptax was only available for filers in California, however the ability to “snap” a W-2 now extend to all 50 states.

The Snap Tax app takes full advantage of the abilities of smart phones to take pictures and then scan them into apps. You can scan your W-2s and they immediately become part of your return, without the need for manual entry. You then answer questions just like any other version of Turbo Tax to complete and e-file your return. The app is free to try and you pay only when you file.

The “snapped” W-2 forms can also then be exported into documents or emailed to the user. This allows for an easy way to record and maintain digital copies of financial records. As more people move into the digital age, paper copies can become cumbersome. Snaptax and similar scanning methods provide a quick and easy way to digitize important documents and create an electronic filing system for easier extraction should the information be required in the future.

The Snaptax app is basically a smart phone overlay for using the standard online version and array of free IRS efile methods. But a mobile-focused format makes all the difference as we all have seen that web browsing on an iPhone or and Android phone is not always practical unless the site was set up for mobile use. By adapting the online format into a mobile version, the app improve the user experience and eases the confusion which can come from too much information on the small screen (particularly when the information can be as dense as taxes.)

Deadlines

The April 17th deadline is quickly approaching. You will need to have filed you taxes by then or filed an extension to allow yourself time to complete the return by as late as October 15th. Remember that extensions are only an extension of time to file, not time to pay. Pay as much as you can with the extension if you owe money. If you fail to pay by April 17th, no matter when you eventually file you return, you will be assessed penalties and interest from 17th of April forward.

Dwight Mabe is a writer and reviewer for several different sites, many of which are music but covering lots of different subjects as a freelance journalist.

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