TurboTax Tax Return App
This app is pretty convenient: You snap a photo of your W-2, answer questions about your life (like employment status, whether or not you pay rent or have donated to charity, etc.), and it recommends a package best suited for you. For example, when I filled out the personal questions, I checked yes to having a job/W-2, that my taxes are simple, I had donated to charity and paid rent. TurboTax recommended their “Deluxe” plan which is $39.99 to process my tax return. The interface is easy and straightforward, and still less expensive than hiring an accountant. The app itself is free to download with iOS or Android, with purchasing options in-app.
This app comes straight from the source, and while it doesn’t file your tax return for you, it does keep you updated on its status, and helps you find somewhere you can prep your taxes for free. You can also make payments directly from your bank account if you are an individual taxpayer, and sign up for helpful tax tips. If you file your refund online, the app will report back on its status within 72 hours, and if you file a paper return it takes three to four weeks. Free to download with iOS or Android.
H&R Block Tax Prep
Similar to the TurboTax app, H&R Block also asks some simple questions about your past year. Based on how I filled it out, H&R Block recommended their free e-file service, where you can snap a picture of your W-2, import last year’s return from other services if applicable, and get technical support via their chat service. Plus, you can create a customized tax prep checklist, estimate the amount of your tax refund, use your location to find the closest H&R Block, and test your income tax knowledge with an interactive quiz. Free to download with iOS or Android, with purchasing options in app.
Separate from e-filing your taxes, but still ever-important is keeping all your receipts in order. ShoeBoxed lets you snap quick photos of your receipts, which then turn into digitized copies accepted by the IRS. It also determines the date, total, type of payment, and category of the receipt for easy searching and storing. The app generates and sends you expense reports via email, and even exports them to finance apps like Quickbooks or Excel. Free to download with iOS or Android, with purchasing options in app.
Taxcaster is by Intuit, the same people who bring us TurboTax, and makes it super easy to forecast what your tax return will look like coming up on tax season. If you want to know approximately how much you will owe or get back, this app gives you an estimate based on questions that take about five minutes to answer, even if your W-2 isn’t right in front of you. Free to download with iOS or Android.