Top 6 Free Tax Apps For Your Smartphone or Tablet
With tax season in full swing, it's easy to get stressed out about filing your return. Fortunately, there are a few free apps that can help make the process easier. These free tax apps will help you do everything from estimating how much your refund check will be -- as well as when you can expect to receive it -- to automatically e-filing your W-2s after snapping a photo of the forms.
TurboTax SnapTax (iPhone, Android)
If you don't have children or dependents, make less than 100K a year, don't own real estate and have income rolling in only from W-2 forms, interest or unemployment, TurboTax SnapTax is the absolute easiest way to file your taxes electronically--as long as you have an iPhone or Android smartphone.
The app essentially holds your hand through the process of submitting a 1040EZ form, even showing you how to rip your W-2 to get just the portion of the page that you need. Then, simply line up the frame and use your smartphone's camera to snap a photo. The app slurps your information, asks you a few painless questions and shoots everything over to the IRS.
While the app is free to download, it costs $24.99 to e-file (prices vary on the desktop version). It's not a big change from last year's version, but this iteration gives you the option to try out the app without signing up for an account. Afterward, it holds your information for an hour in case you want to go through with the process.
TurboTax for iPad
For people whose tax requirements are more complex than simply filing a 1040EZ, there's TurboTax for iPad. The iPad 2's camera isn't advanced enough to get the same OCR (Optical Character Recognition) capability as the iPhone, but there are several advantages to using this app instead of its SnapTax iPhone counterpart: You get free tax advice straight from inside the app (hours are 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Pacific Time), it can handle your taxes if you have rental property, investments or are a small business owner and the app can even re-import your information from last year (if you made a TurboTax account then). Just like SnapTax, TurboTax for iPad takes you through the entire process step by tedious step.
The app is free to download, but TurboTax charges $29.99 for federal tax return filing and an additional $36.99 per state for state tax filing.