The big deadline to file your income taxes with the IRS is Tuesday, April 15. And if you’re like me, you still haven’t gotten them done yet. We all have our bad years, but there are a number of apps that can help you out. If you’re an Android user, we already have a guide of some of the better Android apps for taxes, but iPad owners, you are in luck. Though it’s still a bit limited, the tax app selection for iPad is better than any other platform.
Below are our favorite iPad apps that help you file your income taxes.
Updated on 3-21-2014 by Jeffrey Van Camp: We’ve added Quick Tax Reference, IRS2Go, and Expensify to the list. H&R Block at Home and iDeductible have been removed due to lack of updates.
H&R Block Tax Preparation (Free)
After a few years of splitting apps up in a confusing format, H&R Block seems to have consolidated its mobile offerings. The iPad now gets a fully featured tax filing app with H&R Block Tax Preparation. It allows users to prepare taxes right from the iPad – or switch between tablet and browser. The app offers a review process to make sure there are no issues with your filing and promises 100 percent coverage and full audit support should the numbers come into question. You shouldn’t have anything to worry about. H&R Block guarantees accuracy and a maximum refund, which is really all you should ask for from a tax app.
This is a dead simple app. Enter your information in the form and it will give you a good estimate of what your tax refund might be this year. However, as we found out the hard way, this app does not work unless you’ve already filed your taxes (duh). It just tracks the status of your return so if you’re counting the days until your tax return arrives it could be handy. This app from TurboTax is also available on iPhone and Android.
Quick Tax Reference (Free)
If there’s any source to trust when it comes to financial information, it’s Bloomberg. The company has put together a digital tax reference sheet with its Quick Tax Reference app. The app provides access to all of the information that you’ll need to have on hand when filing your taxes. Information like the 2014 tax rates and information on trickier topics like capital gains and estate taxes will make sure you aren’t giving up too much of your hard earned cash, while easy access to the corporate and individual tax schedules will make sure you don’t miss your deadline. This is a universal app on iOS, so it works with the iPad and iPhone.
Ask a CPA (Free)
This free app gives some basic tips about taxes in a number of categories, but it’s better if you have a specific question. You can ask any question for free, and if all goes well, you’ll get an answer. If you want a more reliable (and possibly more detailed) answer, there’s another app called My Pocket CPA, which also lets you ask a question, but charges a fee (usually around $10) per answer. We recommend My Pocket CPA if you have a more serious question, as it has a more detailed interface for asking. With Ask a CPA, you’re mostly limited to a text box.
Despite being the official app of the organization that handles your taxes, IRS2Go doesn’t have a ton to offer. You can check the status of your tax return after you’ve filed it and it provides tax tips should you happen to need any friendly advice. You’ll also get access to the IRS Twitter feed, just in case that’s a thing you feel like you’ve been missing in your life. This app is also available on the iPhone.
Intuit’s TurboTax is the most popular tax software around, and for good reason. Like all versions, the iPad TurboTax app is user friendly, looks wonderful, and will guide you through the entire process of filing your federal and state returns, step by step. Like its simpler sibling app SnapTax for iPhone and Android phones, TurboTax for iPad allows you to scan your W2 and proceeds to fill most stuff out for you. TurboTax is likely how we’ll fill out my taxes this year.
TaxACT Free Federal Edition (Free)
If you’re a TaxACT user and got ready to file your taxes with the help of it’s Tax Central smartphone app, you can stick with the company to complete your taxes. Once you’re ready to file, you can use TaxACT’s Free Federal Edition app. Like it’s competition, this app allows you to prepare, print, and e-file your tax return. There is a financial aid worksheet for college loans, bookmarks that allow you to add notes to questions you’re unsure of, and guidance for any gray areas you may encounter. Filing through TaxACT costs $15. From what it promises, it seems rather feature rich. However, the reviews are mixed at best. Approach with caution, because the last thing you want to do is mess up your tax information and have an audit on your hands.
We’d like to see more…
While the selection of apps on the iPad is, in some ways, better than those for iPhone or Android, it could be better. The list expanded a little more this year, but it’s still pretty much a duopoly between H&R Block and TurboTax when it comes to taxes. Hopefully, more quality apps will be released by next year.
Article originally published in April 2011 and updated in April 2012, April 2013, and March 2014.