Tax Time Tools

Tax season can be filled with questions – and this year, many people will be turning to their smartphones and tablets for answers.

Major tax preparers, online tax software providers and the Internal Revenue Service now offer mobile apps to help people prepare and file their tax returns quickly and efficiently. With application downloads, taxpayers can find answers to frequently asked questions, fill out tax forms, estimate and even track refunds from their devices.

As with all of your personal information, it’s important to take steps to protect the financial data that is stored on your device. Be sure to use passwords and only download apps that are developed by known, reputable sources. Here are a few of the most popular free tax time apps, available on Apple and Android devices.

For answers to commonly asked questions and filing information, check out H&R Block Mobile, which also includes a checklist function to help you determine what documents are needed and quickly estimate refunds. The Internal Revue Service also has a mobile app this year, IRS2Go, which allows taxpayers to sign up for helpful tips, check on the status of their federal return or contact the IRS.

Before completing your return, try the TaxCaster app to receive an estimate on the potential size of your refund. The app will ask you to answer a few questions, and then lets you know approximately how much you will receive, or how much you will owe Uncle Sam.

Want to file using your smartphone? With the TurboTax SnapTax, you can use your smartphone to snap a photo of your W-2, fill out a few quick questions, review and submit. There is a $14.99 filing fee when using the app

And, once your tax return is filed, you’ll want to track when you expect to receive your refund. My TaxRefund tracks e-filed federal tax returns and lets you know when you’ll get your money. It also will let you know if your return is accepted or rejected by the IRS.

To learn more about security measures or applications that are available on multiple operating systems, attend an upcoming Wireless Workshop. Workshops are free and open to people with devices from any carrier. For information about dates, times and locations, visit