April 18, 2011

Tax Filing? There’s An App for That

TurboTax maker Intuit releases smart phone filing capability

Forget a rush to the post office to beat the 11:59 p.m. tax day deadline. Do it from the safety of your home—or in this case, your phone. Intuit introduced SnapTax nationwide in January, the first mobile application that allows people to prepare and file their taxes from start to finish. The app is available for both the iPhone and Android.

SnapTax allows taxpayers with 1040EZ forms to snap a photo of their W-2 with their mobile phones; it then automatically enters the information into their tax return. Taxpayers answer basic questions, review their return for accuracy and tap “File Now” to electronically file their federal and state tax returns in minutes.

According to Intuit spokesperson Colleen Gatlin, SnapTax uses optical character recognition (OCR) technology to accurately capture the tax preparation and shows a running tally of the refund, or taxes owed, each step of the way.

“Individuals can download the mobile app for free and pay when they are ready to electronically file their return,” Gatlin says. “The price of $19.99 includes one federal 1040EZ and one state tax return plus e-filing.”     

While she says the company is not disclosing current adoption rates, she notes that within three weeks of the application’s January release, it had been downloaded 350,000 times, which she says is an indication of its strong demand.

A SnapTax video provides more information, and can be viewed at Tax Break, the TurboTax blog.

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