You can do just about anything on your mobile phone these days, and that includes your taxes. There is no shortage of great mobile tax apps available today. With the tax deadline quickly approaching again, you should definitely start to think about filing your taxes.
Tax apps have come a long way in the last few years. What started off as a more experimental version of the actual tax software platform has turned into an easy and quick way to file taxes from anywhere using a smartphone.
The main issue is that you may not know who has the best mobile tax apps available. No worries, you are in the right place.
You may balk at doing taxes from your mobile device, but after reading about the mobile tax apps that are available and how easy they are to use, you might have a change of heart.
How Do Mobile Tax Apps Work?
The answer to this will depend on the tax app that you choose. That being said, most of them work by gaining access to your smartphone or tablet camera and allow you to upload the appropriate information right from your device to the platform.
For example, the TurboTax mobile app asks for permission to access photos and files. When you allow it, you are then able to upload all the relevant tax information that you need straight to the app.
Some documents you may have to upload include W-2s, driver’s license, 1099s, and other relevant tax write-offs you may want to add. From there, you will be able to go through the process of filing your taxes directly in the app.
You also want to remember that it is probably a good idea to have access to secure WiFi. Never file taxes or do any other sort of banking on an open WiFi network, as that is just asking for trouble.
Let’s take a look at some of the best mobile tax apps that are available today.
Best Mobile Tax Apps
It should be no surprise that TurboTax is number 1 on our list. Not only are they the most popular online tax prep option out there, but they are probably the most trusted as well.
They offer amazing features, cover everything imaginable in the world of taxes, and offer a smooth, clean, slick, easy-to-use interface on both desktop and mobile devices.
TurboTax leaves no stone unturned when it comes to walking you through potential income, expense, deduction, and credit options. The platform offers a complete do-it-yourself setup and also has live agents ready and available whenever you need some help.
All-in-all, you will be hard-pressed to find a better tax service than TurboTax. They also have a free platform, which makes them one of the best free tax services out there as well when it comes to simple returns.
- 24/helpline and customer support
- Autofill available
- Intuitive mobile app
- ExplainWhy technology
- SmartLook connection to TurboTax experts
- Audit-Risk identifier
- Audit support when needed
- Full-service option
- Easy to navigate
2. H&R Block Deluxe
Another one of the best mobile tax apps available out there today is H&R Block. They provide their “MyBlock” app and give you something that you can feel confident using while being in touch with a trusted tax source.
You can upload all docs quickly and easily, connect with your tax pro, and file your taxes entirely from the app.
This platform is perfect whether you are a seasoned tax expert or a beginner. They do a fantastic job of balancing the needs of tax filers of all skill levels.
The app includes something called “Online Assist, which allows you to access tax expert help at any point while you’re building your return. The interface is also one of the cleanest and user-friendly that you will find.
- Elegant and visually pleasing design
- Support that explains tax laws
- Access tax pros with Online Assist
- Maximum refund guarantee
- All available forms within app
- Free version available
- Refund advance of up to $3,500
- In-person audit support
If you need an online tax filing solution that brings plenty of options to the table, then take a look at TaxAct. Supporting both new and experienced users, TaxAct is actually very simple to use, and perhaps that is the appeal.
With its simplicity comes easy navigation, clear options, a well-rounded review process, and access to professional help whenever you need it. While the interface is not as thorough as TurboTax, you can get all the same deductions. You just have to know where to find them within the platform.
They have come a long way over the past several years, and you may find quite a few people who think TaxAct should be number 1 on this list. Either way, be sure to give them a peek.
- Simple and elegant design interface
- Clear language that is easy to understand
- Excellent for beginners
- Automated W-2 entry
- Deduction maximizer
- Solid Answer Center
- Xpert Help feature
TaxSlayer is a very affordable tax service that continues to get better every year. If you have never used it, then you are in for a treat. The mobile platform is easy-to-use and navigate. If you are a returning user, then you will see that a lot of upgrades geared toward intuitive navigation and understanding have been made.
The app is available and makes the process of filing taxes a little easier because you can file from anywhere. There isn’t as much content-sensitive help on the site as there is on some of our other entries, but they do provide a solid knowledge base area and you can prepare a Schedule C for next to nothing.
- Very inexpensive
- Solid user-interface experience
- Supports all major IRS forms and schedules
- Very good knowledge base
- Improved homepage and e-filing
- Error checking software
- Free email and phone support
- Military members file for free using classic edition
The name pretty much says it all. Free is the keyword here. While all their versions are not free, FreeTaxUSA does have excellent pricing to go along with their really good tax service. Their mobile tax app basically mimics the desktop interface, but it does still work as an app from your mobile device.
They are also excellent for more complicated tax situations and self-employed individuals. They pr0vide great service packages for both of these situations for a very low-price. Even their deluxe version only costs $7 to use.
That being said, the deluxe edition does handle tax forms that most software doesn’t until you pay for the premium or self-employed upgrades. All-in-all, FreeTaxUSA is a solid tax platform that you should definitely take a look at.
- Free customer support in email and chat for paid users
- Supports most all tax forms
- Accuracy guarantee
- They pay any penalties you receive if their software was wrong
- Free audit assistance
- Cheaper than other tax services
- Flexible navigation
- Excellent mobile experience
6. Credit Karma Tax
Another one of the best mobile tax apps out there is Credit Karma Tax. Yes, that’s right, Credit Karma has made their way into the tax return business, and they offer a solid platform that is very easy to use.
If you have ever used their main app, then you kind of have an idea.
The best thing about Credit Karma Tax is that it is completely free to use, no questions asked. Yes, it supports most IRS forms and schedules for federal and state returns, even the Schedule C.
It is the only mobile tax app on this list that is completely free no matter what. Whether you have a comprehensive tax filing and preparation situation or a simple federal return, Credit Karma Tax will cost you nothing.
The main downfall is the lack of assistance, as paid tax services usually offer live support.
- Totally free
- Supports major IRS and state forms
- Easy-to-use interface
- Excellent navigation
- Mobile access is compelling and intuitive
7. eSmart Tax /Liberty Tax
You may not have heard of eSmart Tax, but don’t worry, they have been a trusted name in the tax industry for well over 20-years. eSmart is actually an extension of Liberty Tax. They are definitely a lesser-known platform, but they bring a lot to the table, and that is why they make this list.
They also have a new mobile tax app that is intuitive and easy-to-use and understand. The software is a little more expensive than others on this list, but they also provide guaranteed returns. You are also backed by a brick-and-mortar tax business that has been in the industry for decades.
- Biggest refund guarantee
- eSmart will cover fees if you find a bigger refund anywhere else
- 100% accuracy guarantee
- Federal and state filing
- Free online chat and tech support
- Access to prior year’s returns
- Preparation for non-residents available
- Access to all forms
Rounding out our list of best mobile tax apps is e-File. If you have a simple or basic tax return, then this is definitely one to look at. That being said, e-File does support you very well if you have more complex tax filing situations.
The user interface is simple and it gives off a vibe that is conforming and makes it easy to use. No extra and unneeded bells and whistles here. Just a solid platform that can help you file your taxes appropriately.
- Live chat support
- Electronic and mail filing options
- Solid user-interface
- Quick return option available
Who Should Use Tax Apps?
There are very few restrictions when it comes to who should use mobile tax apps. Basically, except for a couple of tax bracket restrictions, mobile tax apps all claim that they can handle even the most complex filings.
So with that said, it is still worth diving into if your tax return is going to be very complicated. You may need to stick with the desktop version of the software.
What is the Associated Cost?
Mobile tax apps will cost different amounts based on the type of tax return you are filing. For example, if you have a very simple tax situation or earn less than $72,000 a year, you can file your taxes for free on most apps.
If your tax situation is more complicated, as mentioned above, then you will have to pay tax filing fees on the apps or pay a professional working through the app. Either way, those fees will be the same that are associated with the actual software itself.
The selections above are all capable, reasonably priced tax prep platforms that can help simplify what can be an overwhelming process. So definitely check them out and see what may be a good fit for your tax situation.
It goes without saying that tax season (even if you are getting a return) can be one of the more frustrating times of the year. Unless you have a very simple return, things can escalate into a mess of paper receipts and digital records.
Having the ability to use mobile tax apps will at least make the process a little easier, as you will be able to file from anywhere, right from your mobile device. This is ideal for people who are always on-the-go and don’t have time to sit at their desktop and perform all the necessary steps it takes for getting taxes filed.
I hope this article was helpful for you. All of the mobile tax apps on the list above are solid, and this is a good place to at least start looking at which one you may want to use.
Go through the list, dig into the information, and come out on the other side with the choice that works best for your tax situation. Good luck!