These helpful apps will make tax time a little less painful
We watch movies, listen to music, play games and make dinner reservations on our mobile phones, so why not do our taxes?
You can, in fact, do your taxes on your phone or computer tablet, along with a lot of other things that can help make tax time more bearable. Here's some of the more popular mobile apps available to help you calculate the government's share. They are available at the iTunes App Store for iOS devices and Google Play for Android devices.
IRS2Go (free, iOS, Android) • This is the official app for the Internal Revenue Service, and the 4.0 version has new features this year.
Taxpayers can now check on the status of their federal tax refund. There is a new tool that can help people find the nearest site for the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program. You also can now request past tax records with the app. And as usual, you can also get tax tips and a way to instantly connect with the IRS for help.
TurboTax SnapTax (free, iOS, Android) • With just the snap of a picture, you can complete your taxes in just 10 minutes if it's a 1040EZ form.
If you only have to do the EZ form, just take a photo of your W-2 form where image recognition fills in most of the blanks. Then you answer a few simple questions and then file your forms through the app. Doing your federal form is free while filing a state form with the app costs $14.99.
MyTaxRefund (free, iOS, Android) • If you've already filed your taxes, you can find out when you can get your refund by using this simple app. You don't have to be a TurboTax customer to use it.
TaxCaster (free, iOS, Android) • This final app from the makers of TurboTax is a tax calculator that is a quick way to assess the amount of your refund or what you owe before you actually do your taxes.
H&R Block (free, iOS, Android) • This all-around tax app from the nation's largest tax preparer includes ways to see last year's tax records, upload your current tax records to an H&R Block professional, find out when your tax refund is coming and also has a tax calculator to estimate your refund or taxes. You also can get answers to tax questions and make an appointment with H&R Block.
H&R Block 1040EZ 2013 (free, iOS, Android) • Like TurboTax SnapTax, you can complete your 1040EZ form with just a few simple steps by taking a picture of your W-2 form, answering a some questions and letting the app do the rest, including filing it electronically. The app is free but it costs $9.99 to prepare your return.
TaxAct Express 2013 (free, iOS, Android) • Another app that you can use to prepare your taxes. But TaxAct also lets you do more complicated tax forms.
Donation Assistant (free, iOS, Android) • It may be a little late to use this, but you can always get it for next year's returns. But it helps you track your charitable donations to maximize your deductions.
Ask a Tax Preparer (free, iOS, Android) • This app from CPADirectory.com, the largest database of certified public accountants, provides answers to many tax questions. It also can hook you up with a CPA in your area if you can't find an answer with the app.
XpenseTracker ($4.99, iOS) • With this app, you can keep track of all of your expenses and mileage for the sake of taxes. You can log your information, take photos of receipts and port all of the data over to a .PDF file or into Excel.