IRS Gets Hip with Tax App for iPhone, Android

Maybe it's a cool idea but buying a smartphone app that links me ever closer to the Internal Revenue Service makes me a little nervous. But hip or not, the IRS today unveiled IRS2Go, the agency's first smartphone application that lets taxpayers from their iPhone or Android smartphone check on their status of their tax refund and obtain helpful tax information.

Apple users can download the free IRS2Go application by visiting the Apple App Store. Android users can visit the Android Marketplace to download the free IRS2Go app, the tax agency stated.

[Speaking of apps: 14 year-old's Bubble Ball is #1 iTunes app; shoots down Angry Birds]

According to the IRS, the first release of the IRS2Go app lets users:

  • Check the status of their federal refund. Users first enter a Social Security number, which is masked and encrypted for security purposes, the IRS says. Next, taxpayers pick the filing status they used on their tax return. Finally, taxpayers enter the amount of the refund they expect from their 2010 tax return. For people who e-file, the refund function of the phone app will work within about 72 hours after taxpayers receive an e-mail acknowledgement saying the IRS received their tax return.
  • Automatically get daily tax tips sent to them via e-mail. Tax Tips are simple, straightforward tips and reminders to help with tax planning and preparation. Tax Tips are issued daily during the tax filing season and periodically during the rest of the year. The plain English updates cover topics such as free tax help, child tax credits, the Earned Income Tax Credit, education credits and other topics, the IRS stated.

For now you cannot file your taxes with the app. But as the ConsumerReports.org website notes: "If you've got a simple tax situation and expect to file the 1040-EZ federal form, you can now actually file from an iPhone or Android using TurboTax's SnapTax app. The app reads the info off your W-2 form, asks a few questions, and lets you file. To participate, you have to have adjusted gross income of less than $80,000 for a single filer, or less than $100,000 as joint filers. You also have to be under age 65 and have no dependents. And there's a price for this convenience: $14.95 until March 26, when the price is expected to rise to $19.95. (If saving money trumps convenience, check out the numerous free federal tax-prep and filing options we've identified.)"

Follow Michael Cooney on Twitter: nwwlayer8

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