How To App Your Taxes

Yup, the dreaded tax season is upon us, and you literally have mere days to get your shit together to meet Uncle Sam’s filing deadline. This year though, we’re going to let technology do the heavy lifting and spend less time crunching numbers and more time, well, doing literally anything else because doing taxes seriously sucks. Even doing your taxes has gone the way of the Apps and here’s every app you need to make your filling a breeze.

TurboTax
It should come as no surprise that TurboTax’s app is on the list and at the top. Even before the smart device boom, Intuit, the company behind TurboTax, had really mastered making tax preparation as simple as possible with its products for anyone who opted to file on their own. With the app, you can take a photo of your W-2 and let TurboTax scan your information or you can manually input it. If you’re familiar with any other version of TurboTax then expect the filing process to be very user-friendly and thorough; you will be guided step-by-step through deductions and credits for both federal and state returns. It will even explain items that affect your refund, and there’s a really cool feature called SmartLook that gives you live on-screen video assistance by putting you in touch with an agent for more help.

Available for iOS and Android; free but there’s a cost for e-filing

H&R Block Tax Preparation
H&R Block has a tax preparation app that offers many of the same features as competitor TurboTax: you can take a picture of your W-2, get a tax preparation walkthrough, explanations for changes to your refund, and e-file right from the app. One added benefit is that H&R Block is a brick-and-mortar business, so if for some reason you get audited, you will get free in-person support. Let’s hope you never need it, though.

Available for iOS and Android; free but there’s a cost for e-filing

IRS22GO
If Kylie Jenner has her own app, it probably should come as no surprise that even the government is in the app game, and this is the official one of the IRS. While it doesn’t have the bells and whistles of fancier tax apps (you can’t prepare or file through it), it does let you pay if you do owe, or check the status of your refund. You can also keep tabs on IRS goings-on by following them on social media through the app, if other exciting activities like watching paint dry or doing laundry aren’t your thing. Do sign up for the tax tips, though, so you can be better prepared for next year. There’s also info on tracking down tax professionals who may offer free and low-cost preparation.

Available for iOS and Android; free

Bloomberg BNA Quick Tax Reference
If there’s such a thing as a tax enthusiast, then the Bloomberg BNA Quick Tax Reference is for them. (Editor’s Note: Seriously? Is this a thing?) This app provides info on current tax rates, and standard deductions and exemptions. Also, it’s a great resource for those with much more complicated tax situations. So if you’re working a large deduction return this year or have questions about stuff like deducting student loan interest or how a house purchase might affect your situation, this handy reference can be a lifesaver.

Available for iOS and Android; free