“This is too difficult for a mathematician. It takes a philosopher.”— Albert Einstein, on filing tax returns. Everybody in the U.S. has to send their hard-earned money to Washington D.C. (unless you are very wealthy and able to find loopholes or hiding your money in the Cayman Islands, or possibly too poor to owe anything) but few like the process and its outcome. While we can’t change the outcome, we here at JOA hope to make the process a little easier. The apps we list here will assist you in the preparation and filing of your tax returns.
No need to do any pencil sharpening either. Swipe, tap, and take a picture of your W-2 to process everything on your Android. This doesn’t apply exclusively to tax time; some of these apps also help you keep track of your tax-related information throughout the year. Many apps also provide the option to switch back and forth across multiple platforms and devices. Most apps require no or next-to-no tax knowledge.
1. TurboTax Tax Return – Free with In-App Purchase
This app is all about convenience. You can receive live on-screen video support from TurboTax experts. You can try TurboTax Tax Return out before you pay, as payment is only required when you file. Pricing is based on your specific circumstances. Members of the military should check out TurboTax’s options for discounts. This app is a top pick in many places, including Google Play (Editor’s Choice).
Download: TurboTax Tax Return
2. My Block – Free
My Block is H&R Block’s digital tax assistant, with a ton of features. It contains a Help troubleshooting component, paycheck calculation tools, and different tiers to accommodate different needs; such as investors, businesses, and the simplest tax returns. Unlike TurboTax, H&R Block offers free audit support and a review from one of its agents. You can upload receipts and access previous tax returns.
3. QuickBooks Self Employed – Free with In-App Purchase
It is becoming much more common for people to take on freelance work, or to have multiple streams of income from various sources. QuickBooks lets you capture receipts using your Android’s camera so you can save them for tax deductions.
The app will also help you track mileage, give you a nice visual report of your finances, and can sync with TurboTax. It also allows you to separate business vs personal expenses, generate and send invoices, and automatically calculate quarterly estimated taxes.
Download: QuickBooks Self Employed
4. Mint – Free
Immediately after we go through the grueling process of trying to remember all of the medical expenses we’ve had in the last year when we are filing taxes, I might remember to save tax-related receipts for about the next month or so. After the painful memory becomes more distant, though, I grow more complacent.
Mint is a money app that can be used for tax purposes and makes it incredibly convenient to fix the scenario I described above. Over 10 million people use Mint to track purchases, manage money, create a budget, and more. How can an Android personal finance app help you do your taxes? Use Mint with TurboTax to harness probably the most powerful and straightforward way to do your taxes.
Download: Mint: Budget, Bills, Finance
5. Bloomberg BNA Quick Tax Reference – Free
Can’t remember tax or mileage rates off the top of your head? Neither can most mere mortals, which is why having this tax reference that comes with a calculator for quick estimates is so handy. If finance is your forte, this app can assist with IRA limit, corporate tax rate or individual schedules, capital gains and dividends taxed as net capital gain, and more.
If you are often having to make these calculations and decisions on-the-go, need help with personal exemptions or standard deductions, or with more complex legal and financial situations like trusts, estates, gifts, pensions, and retirement plan limits, this app can save a ton of time and effort.
Download: Bloomberg BNA Quick Tax Reference
6. TaxSlayer Snap and Go – Free
One thing that can get annoying about accomplishing tasks with intricate details on your smartphone is if the interface wasn’t built for it, and has tiny buttons and other features hard to access. Not so with TaxSlayer GO, which is not only easy to use, but also guarantees you will receive the maximum refund you are entitled to or you get a refund of your TaxSlayer purchase.
There is also a 100% accuracy guarantee, that before you e-file your return will be checked for errors and provide accurate calculations or TaxSlayer will reimburse you for any penalties. You also have the payment option of deducting your filing fees from your federal tax refund. Members of the military should check out TaxSlayer’s options for discounts.
Download: TaxSlayer Snap and Go
7. Evernote – Free with In-App Purchase
Evernote is a fantastic way to keep all of your notes and documents for tax season in one place, as you can save, sync, and share no matter the device. You can use Evernote on your Android to scan your W2s, donation receipts, 1098s, bank statements, credit card statements, pay stubs, investment documents, and so forth.
You can also attach your online statements to your Evernote account, and organize everything into notebooks. Evernote has a great search feature that will comb through your documents and pictures to find that hard-to-locate item.
8. Expensify – Free
Here’s how Android can help you do your taxes all year long. Let Expensify keep track of your business trip expenses, like meals, so you can actually focus on your work. Link your credit or debit card with Expensify to both capture receipts for expensive items and receive e-receipts for expenses $75 and below.
Use the app to also track billable time, mileage, and donations to charity. If you use Expensify to do these things throughout the year, all you will have to do at tax time is run a report.
9. IRS2Go – Free
Sometimes the IRS seems a bit like the mysterious man behind the curtain, but this app allows you to interact directly with the entity you are submitting your return to—the IRS. You can use it to track your refund and make your payment. IRS2Go can also assist with finding free tax preparation help, give you tax advice, and updates. IRS2Go is also available in Spanish.
10. TaxCaster – Free
If what you owe or don’t owe to the IRS always seems to come as a surprise at the end of the tax year, TaxCaster can help you forecast. If you are always receiving a hefty refund, you don’t want to continue to let the IRS receive an interest-free loan on money you could be investing.
On the other hand, if you are always shocked by how much you owe, you might not have enough stashed away. To prevent either scenario, just plug in some basic information to use the same tax calculator used in TurboTax.
There’s no reason to dread tax time anymore. We selected these apps on the basis of their quality and/or options for support. We also like apps that make things easier, quicker, and improve accuracy. Although doing your taxes still exactly fun, at least you no longer have to deal with a ton of paperwork. You can the process on your desktop and finish on your tablet or smartphone, or vice versa if you please.
Have a suggestion of your own for completing tax returns on Android? What’s your favorite app to help you get organized? To track your refund? Let us know in the comments.