Can You File Your Taxes from Your Mobile Device?

The short answer is:  Yes, you can.

Commercial products:

Turbotax & H&RBlock offer a version of their software products for your mobile device, although one of these apps links you back to the online product when you file.  These apps allow you to scan and store receipts, take a picture of your W2, and file your taxes electronically.   Downloading the app is free, but when you file, you pay.  

A review from MacWorld compares both products from the Apple perspective, Tax apps for iOS review: File your taxes on your iPad or iPhone.  The review is a few years old, which makes sense considering these products have been on the market for awhile now.

What if you don't want to pay to file? 

For instance, if you are filing a 1040EZ and you have to pay to file, there's financial incentive NOT to use the technology from Turbotax or H&RBlock.  Try a free tax app instead.  There are free tax apps available to help you scan and organize your receipts, keep account of your expenses, track your mileage, or notify you about your refund.

For a list of apps both for tax preparation or for tax research, see the article I wrote in last month Wisconsin Bar's InsideTrack, Legal Research: Tax Law Resources and Mobile Apps

Online Tax Portals

What if you don't want to use your mobile device?  Instead, you want to download a tax form or look up instructions on how to file on your desktop or laptop.  Perhaps all you need is to find a quick answer to a tax question.  There are sites for that as well. 

Here are three tax portals you might find useful:

  1. The Internal Revenues Basic Tools for Tax Professionals, which provides federal tax guides and federal forms.
  2. The Wisconsin Department of Revenue – 2015 Tax Forms for state forms.
  3. is a directory of tax information and includes links to state and federal tax forms as well as scholarly articles on tax law topics, tax law & regulations, tax policy and information for accounting and payroll.  

    IRS2go  Finally, government agencies are creating apps for mobile devices and the Internal Revenue Service provides an app to helps citizens check the status of their refunds. 

Submitted by Jenny Zook, Reference Librarian on March 31, 2016

This article appears in the categories: Law Library

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