8 Tax Apps for Easier and Faster Filing

Photo (cc) by gailjadehamilton

According to the IRS, filing your taxes by mail can mean waiting six to eight weeks for your refund from the date the return was received. But these days there’s a faster way: using tax apps to e-file from your smartphone.

Of all ways to file, using a tax app might be the fastest and easiest. These apps can do the job in as little as 10 minutes, and some fill in your return automatically using a photo of your tax forms. After you e-file, your refund will usually show up within three weeks.

In addition to filing from your smartphone or tablet, tax apps can help you organize receipts, track donations, and file an extension.

Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson has more on tax apps to make filing your return faster and easier. Check out the following video, then read on for more.

Here are several apps to help you with your taxes from start to finish.

1. Estimate your refund with TaxCaster

Looking for some motivation to get your tax return in early? Use TaxCaster to quickly estimate your refund.

Answer a few questions about your income, withholdings, and deductions, and TaxCaster will display your expected refund.

You can also test how changes to your income and deductions will impact your taxes next year and adjust withholdings accordingly.

TaxCaster is available free for both iPhone and Android phones.

2. File by photo with SnapTax

Filing taxes from your smartphone is all about simplicity and speed. TurboTax SnapTax combines both, boasting users can file returns in 10 minutes.

SnapTax uses photo recognition software to automatically fill in your return with information from your W-2 form. After users answer a few simple questions, the return can be filed directly from a smartphone.

SnapTax only works for simple returns, as users are limited to W-2, interest, dividend, and unemployment income. Filers who own a home or make more than $100,000 ($120,000 if filing jointly) aren’t eligible.

SnapTax is free to download for both iPhone and Android phones and currently costs $24.99 to e-file one federal and one state return.

3. File free from your phone with H&R Block 1040EZ

The H&R Block 1040EZ app is just like TurboTax’s SnapTax with one key difference: It’s free to file both federal and state returns.

As with SnapTax, users photograph forms and fill in the rest of the information. The downside: This app comes with more restrictions than SnapTax.

Users need to be married or filing jointly, have income less than $100,000, can’t own real estate, and can’t have dependents. As the name suggests, this app only works when filing a 1040EZ.

The H&R Block 1040EZ app is free for both iPhone and Android.

4. File complicated federal returns free on your tablet with TaxACT

If you’re filing a more complicated return than the apps above can handle, try the TaxACT Free Federal Edition app for Android tablets and iPad.

This app is similar to tax software you’d find on the Web as it supports all forms eligible for e-filing. Users can access their return on their tablet or on a computer without having to re-enter information.

TaxACT Free Federal Edition is a free download on both the iPad and Android tablets. Filing federal returns is free, and state returns currently cost $14.99.

5. Track donations with iDonatedIt

Staying organized throughout the year can save time, aggravation, and possibly money when it’s time to file. With the iDonatedIt app, you can track deductible charitable donations so you’re not searching for receipts come tax season.

Created by certified public accountants, this app helps you stay in compliance with IRS rules on charitable contributions. Users can save descriptions, take a photo, and store the value of non-cash donations like clothing or household items. If you’re unsure what your donation is worth, iDonatedIt can help you determine fair market value too.

iDonatedIt costs $2.99 and is available for iPhone.

6. Keep digital copies of receipts with Shoeboxed

For anyone claiming business expenses or deductions on their return, managing receipts can be a pain. Between keeping track of a paper receipt, categorizing expenses, and tallying up totals, dealing with receipts is a hassle.

To stay organized throughout the year, Shoeboxed will digitize your receipts. Just snap a photo or download your receipt to the app. You can quickly categorize the expense type, and the information is neatly organized when it’s time to file.

A limited version of Shoeboxed is free for both iPhone and Android phones. The premium version starts at $9.95 per month.

7. File an extension with TaxSoftware.com 4868

TaxSoftware.com 4868, named for the IRS form used to file an extension, lets you do so with an iPhone.

Users input their information, and the request goes directly to the IRS. The app’s creators claim filing an extension takes only 30 seconds with their app – an important consideration when every second counts up to the midnight filing deadline on April 15.

TaxSoftware.com 4868 costs $0.99 in the iTunes App Store.

8. Track your refund with IRS2Go

Once your taxes are in, the hard part is over. But if you’re expecting a refund, you may be anxious to get it.

With the IRS’s official app, IRS2Go, you can confirm your return was received and track the progress of your refund.

You can also order old returns or contact the IRS for assistance.

IRS2Go is free and works on both Android phones and the iPhone.

Have a favorite tax app? Tell us about it on our Facebook page. And don’t forget to check out our recent post, 4 Ways to Get Your Taxes Done Free.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
7 Surprising Things That Damage Your Credit Score
7 Surprising Things That Damage Your Credit Score

A seemingly small stumble can cause your credit score to plummet.

17 Home Upgrades That Rarely Help Close a Sale
17 Home Upgrades That Rarely Help Close a Sale

Real estate agents give these renovations low marks when it comes to helping sell homes.

14 Service Providers Most Likely to Lower Your Bill If You Ask
14 Service Providers Most Likely to Lower Your Bill If You Ask

With these companies, it might be easier than you think to negotiate your monthly bill down.

5 Reasons You Should Work for as Long as You Live
5 Reasons You Should Work for as Long as You Live

These benefits might make you think twice about retirement.

8 Things I Always Buy at Target
8 Things I Always Buy at Target

I grew up shopping at the original Target store and am a lifelong fan. Here are my favorite purchases.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Vacuums from this brand can last a half-century, if not longer — and they’re hot on the resale market.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

This iconic dinnerware is prized for everyday use as well as reselling for profit.

Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken
Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken

Something foul may lurk in those delicious, ready-to-eat birds.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

12 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
12 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic
5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic

Sometimes the brand-name version is clearly superior.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.