Find the best mobile tax filing app for iOS
Macworld - When it comes to giving Uncle Sam his due, we're dealing with an embarrassment of riches. Want to use an online service to prepare and file your tax return? You've got at least five online tax preparation sites to pick from. More comfortable with traditional desktop products? I've looked at both TurboTax Premiere 2011 from Intuit and At Home Premium 2011 from H&R Block. And if you're turning to an iPhone or iPad for an increasing number of day-to-day tasks, tax app makers have something to offer as well.
Both Intuit and H&R Block have a stable of iOS offerings aimed at satisfying on-the-go tax preparers. I've looked at the major apps from each company, with standalone reviews of Intuit's mobile tax apps for the iPhone and iPad and H&R Block's iOS apps. Here, we'll summarize the reviews of those apps, with an eye toward finding which one best suits your needs.
Both Intuit and H&R Block provide similar apps aimed at two types of tax filers--a basic iPhone app that targets anyone preparing a simple 1040EZ form and a more fully featured iPad app that covers more complex situations.
Intuit's TurboTax SnapTax uses the built-in camera on your iPhone and iPod touch to help simplify the data entry process of filing a 1040EZ return. You snap a photo of your W-2, and SnapTax scans the document to pull out income and other pertinent information. After answering some personal question, you should be able to file your taxes from the app--assuming you're eligible to file a 1040EZ. Otherwise, the app directs you to the TurboTax website to finish off your return.
SnapTax's W-2 photo scan is a clever feature that worked with varying degrees of accuracy in my testing. On a square-sized W-2, the app pulled in information; unfortunately, much of it was incorrect. On a horizontally oriented W-2, SnapTax only successfully gathered information one out of 10 scans. Fortunately, you can manually correct and enter W-2 information with little effort.
More frustrating was the fact that SnapTax does not save any information if you don't create a free TurboTax account or if you are in the midst of entering data, get distracted for a moment, and the device goes to sleep. And again, if your tax return is more complicated than what the 1040EZ allows, you'll need to plan on finishing that return elsewhere. (The app does make good use of the Safari mobile browser in this instance.)
Like SnapTax, H&R Block At Home 1040EZ aims to complete your 1040EZ tax forms. Before you can use the app, you first need to create an H&R Block account. Oddly, if you have an existing account that you've created at H&R Block's website, you will not be able to use that with the app. Likewise, once you've converted the smartphone account you've created on your phone to an online account, you can no longer use it on your phone. Unlike SnapTax, you can't finish your taxes on the Safari browser with H&R Block's iPhone offering.
Crafty hackers hack craft stores -- again.
Michaels Stores (NYSE:MIK) has finally confirmed the details of the point-of-sale hack revealed in January. It's unclear what's taken them so long -- the company claims the hack was "highly sophisticated," but everyone uses a blah-blah phrase like that.
Your humble blogwatcher notes that the problem persisted for more than a month after the news first broke. smh.
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers are aghast that, for the second time, the company's POS was hacked -- lasting almost nine months.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- The Big Data Opportunity for HR and Finance
- If CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, and CHROs want to drive their businesses forward, they will need to quickly recognize the enormous value of big...
- Manufacturing Outlook: Improving time to market, operational effectiveness and innovation in a highly competitive environment
- An enterprise project portfolio management solution can help manufacturers position themselves in the new competitive landscape.
- Time-to-Market: The Need for Speed in the Automotive Industry
- Bringing new vehicles to market quickly has never been more challenging. To bring new models to market on-time and on budget, automakers need...
- Application Rationalization Scorecard: Analysis to Action
- This paper details a proven method, used most recently to evaluate a financial services application portfolio. At the method's core is the scorecard....
- Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
- This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
All Financial IT White Papers
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Mobile Security: Containerizing Enterprise Data In this on-demand webinar, Fixmo's Lee Cocking, VP of corporate strategy, explains why Apple-ization trends like mobility and "bring-your-own-device" (BYOD) are driving the...
- Endpoint Data Management: Protecting the Perimeter of the Internet of Things Not surprisingly, "Internet of Things" (IoT) and Big Data present new challenges AND opportunities for enterprise IT. Teams need to harness, secure and...
- How to Protect Enterprise Data Yet Enable Secure Access for End Users Learn how BYOD, Big Data and the use of rogue applications and devices is putting corporate data at risk, best practices from IT...
- All Financial IT Webcasts