Intuit is the company behind TurboTax, so it’s not particularly surprising that its personal finance service is also one of the best if you’re looking to keep tabs on your finances year round. The app quickly syncs with your bank accounts to provide you with a detailed snapshot of your expenditures, offering up a wealth of telling data regarding your spending habits when it comes to food, utilities, entertainment, and other facets of your monthly budget. You can also set low-balance alerts, customize your budget restrictions to better suit your lifestyle. Best of all, your expenses can later be exported and shared once properly tagged and categorized, allowing you to effortlessly comb through past purchases come tax season.
TurboTax Preparation does exactly what the name implies. Like the service’s Web-based counterpart, the mobile app provides a swath of tax-related information and tools for preparing and e-filing your taxes, whether you intend to submit the state or federal versions thereof. It pulls information from a photo of your W-2 and provides step-by-step guidance as it does, while conveniently searching more than 350 tax deductions and credits to help you better maximize your refund. The service also double checks your work and information as you go, and because the app syncs across platforms, you can switch between your iPhone, iPad, and computer at your own leisure. And while may require a fee when it comes time to actually file, you can pay the fee using your return. How’s that for handy?
If you don’t file your taxes with TurboTax or H&R Block, chances are that you side with TaxACT. Fortunately for you, the service’s official app is as resourceful as it is satisfactory, especially for those hoping to prepare and file simple returns. It covers the most common tax situations, regardless if you’re dealing with unemployment compensation or a basic W-2, and even automatically imports information from an image of the latter so you don’t have to manually punch it in. The app also tracks the status of your IRS refund and notifies you when it’s been processed, and unlike other tax services on our roundup, it allows you to e-file your federal and state extensions for free. A modern touch-up to the interface would just make it that much more enticing to use.
BNA Quick Tax Reference
Like IRS2Go, Bloomberg’s app isn’t exactly pretty, nor does it explain itself well. However, it does provide some valuable reference material, should you need it. Mileage rates, corporate tax rate schedules, individual tax rate schedules, standard deductions, retirement plan limits, and more are all in here in unfiltered tables. The tax rates date all the way back to 2012, too, and you can estimate your taxable income for different filing statuses using the built-in calculator. It’s tailored more so toward the finance aficionado who’s looking for some quick estimates prior to meeting with clients, yet it also servers as a worthwhile resource for anyone seeking some ballpark tax figures on the go.
Yes, this is another Intuit app, but it’s a bit easier to use and more detailed than H&R Block’s My Block. Intuit’s TurboTax is the leader in its category for a reason — Its apps are functional, pretty, and easy to use. Obviously, this is an app for those with relatively simple taxes and a single job. You don’t have to sign up to use it. Simply enter your wages, marital status, earnings, and deductions and TaxCaster pumps out a quick estimate of what you kind of refund you might receive. This allows you to choose the right TurboTax product for your needs, or adjust your paycheck withholdings so you can better plan ahead. It doesn’t prepare your taxes, but it does prepare you for what you can expect down the line.
This article was originally published on April 12, 2012, and updated most recently on January 22, 2016, by Brandon Widder.