By Ed Oswald | Monday, January 17, 2011 at 9:53 pm
Three things are certain in life: birth, death, and taxes. So why not turn the process of filing your taxes into a mobile app? That’s exactly what Intuit–makers of TurboTax–have done with SnapTax. Available for both the iPhone and Android, anyone who is eligible to file a 1040EZ will be able to use the app to file from start to finish.
For those of us who are tax illiterate — 1040EZ users are those who make under $100,000, have no dependents, and are going to claim the standard deduction. Essentially the profile of the “mobile generation,” Intuit believes.
While the download is free, Intuit will charge a $14.99 fee to file the form electronically. SnapTax uses optical character recognition to “scan” W2 forms, making the process of data entry much easier. Like its big brother TurboTax, the user will always have a running tally of their refund (or, gasp, how much more Uncle Sam wants) during the process. It will also allow for the submission of state income taxes as well.
Intuit introduced the application last year in California as an iPhone app, so its not completely new. But this year the state functionality has been made available nationwide, and ported to Android. But it still has fairly substantial shortcomings, and the fact that a majority of taxpayers can’t use it.
Yes, 22 million 1040EZ filers have found a way to get Uncle Sam off their back quick, but the majority of us who must fill out Form 1040 or 1040A are still out of luck. This probably has a lot to do with the complexity of the tax system, meaning an app covering these larger forms would be pretty damn big.
Just a note that if you’re thinking of using this for your taxes this year: Do so before March 25. After that the fee jumps, although Intuit isn’t specifying what what the new price will be. If anyone uses it, I’d be interested in hearing about the experience.