Two Things You Can’t Avoid: Apps and Taxes

By David H. Ringstrom

For many iPhone or Android owners, apps are like potato chips: You can’t stop at just one. Indeed, apps seem to be one of the leading fads of the 2010s – even the IRS has gotten into the game.
Following is a quick rundown on six apps related to U.S. income taxes:
IRS2Go (free app) – It's official: the Internal Revenue Service has jumped on the apps bandwagon. From wherever you are, you can check your refund status, subscribe to tax update e-mail messages, or follow the IRS on Twitter. Who knew the IRS was so hip?
Tax Central from H&R Block (free app) –This app also allows you to check the status of your federal refund. Other features include a tax estimator, tax return checklist, a video gallery, and a news update center. You can try your hand at a tax quiz, and, of course, locate the H&R Block office near you.
BNA Quick Tax Reference (free app) – This free app gives you instant access to tax rates and schedules for years 2007 through 2011. The comprehensive app includes income tax rates for estates, gift taxes, ERISA, and retirement plan limits, among other features. This app also is available for BlackBerry users.
iTaxMama (free app, or $2.99 for Pro version) – AccountingWEB blogger Eva Rosenberg, aka TaxMama, has two iPhone-only apps that allow you to track when estimated taxes are due, when your extension expires, and many other tax related deadlines. The Pro version allows you to add, edit, and delete events, as well as send e-mail reminders.
TurboTax Snap Tax (free app, $14.99 to file) Anyone with a very simple tax situation can snap a picture of his or her W-2 with an iPhone, answer a few questions, and then e-file a return. Use of this app is limited to incomes of $80,000 or less ($100,000 if married) from wages, interest, or unemployment. In addition, users cannot have dependents or own any type of real estate. The $14.99 price is guaranteed through March 25, 2011, so don’t wait until the last minute to use this app.
TurboTax TaxCaster (free app) – This app allows you to project your tax situation to project your refund (or tax due). Or, if you’d rather not peck your tax details into your phone, try the free Web-based version.
Read more articles by David Ringstrom. 
About the author:

David H. Ringstrom, CPA heads up Accounting Advisors, Inc., an Atlanta-based software and database consulting firm providing training and consulting services nationwide. Contact David at or follow him on Twitter. David speaks at conferences about Microsoft Excel, and presents webcasts for several CPE providers, including AccountingWEB partner CPE Link.

    You may like these other stories...

    Legislation coming out of Washington just might reduce homeowners' burden for disaster insurance. It's a topic very much on everyone's minds since the mudslide in Oso, Washington. The loss of human life was...
    Divorce is hard, and the IRS isn't going to make it any easier. The IRS generally says "no" to tax deductions that might ease the pain of divorce. In certain circumstances, however, you might be able to salvage...
    IRS chief: New rule on the way for tax-exempt groupsIRS Commissioner John Koskinen told the USA Today on Monday that the agency will likely rewrite a proposed rule regulating the political activities of nonprofit groups to...

    Upcoming CPE Webinars

    Apr 22
    Is everyone at your organization meeting your client service expectations? Let client service expert, Kristen Rampe, CPA help you establish a reputation of top-tier service in every facet of your firm during this one hour webinar.
    Apr 24
    In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA introduces you to a powerful but underutilized macro feature in Excel.
    Apr 25
    This material focuses on the principles of accounting for non-profit organizations' revenues. It will include discussions of revenue recognition for cash and non-cash contributions as well as other revenues commonly received by non-profit organizations.
    Apr 30
    During the second session of a four-part series on Individual Leadership, the focus will be on time management- a critical success factor for effective leadership. Each person has 24 hours of time to spend each day; the key is making wise investments and knowing what investments yield the greatest return.