The big deadline to file your income taxes with the IRS is Tuesday, April 17. And if you're like me, you still haven't gotten them done yet. We all have our bad years, but there are a number of apps that can help you out. If you're an Android user, we already have a guide of some of the better Android apps for taxes, but iPad owners, you are in luck. Though it's still a bit limited, the tax app selection for iPad is better than any other platform.
Below are our favorite iPad apps that help you file your income taxes.
There are two H&R Block apps. The "H&R Block Mobile" app is mostly a pass-along app that allows you to do some simple things like easily schedule appointments with an H&R Block representative, find a local office, roughly estimate your taxes (pretty good estimate, in my case), create a checklist of things you may need to remember later (and email it to yourself), and it can also give you some basic tax-related answers. Mostly, this is a clever app that gets you in the door so you either see an H&R Block representative in person or purchase full software from the company. What's here is free, so it can't hurt to check it out if you're hurting for info.
H&R Block At Home (Free to download)
If you're more interested in tackling taxes on your own rather than just getting roped into an office, "H&R Block At Home" is the option you're after. It's a full app that allows you to e-file your taxes straight from your iPad. While it's free to prepare, print, and file your taxes with this app, you will have to buy the actual return forms in order to fill them out. It's usually a bit cheaper than TurboTax, though. It's a good option for previous H&R Block users, as information previously filed from the app or online is now accessible within the app.
This is a dead simple app. Enter your information in the form and it will give you a good estimate of what your tax refund might be this year. However, as I found out the hard way, this app does not work unless you've already filed your taxes (duh). This app is also available on iPhone and Android.
iDeductable and Taxable? ($2)
iDeductable is a horrible looking app with only a few real pages. In all honesty, it barely belongs on an iPad. However, as horrible as it looks, it does give a very good, and easy to read, view of what items are deductible from your taxes. It has pages for employee deductions, self-employed deductions, personal deductions, investment deductions, and some relevant info for the 2011 season. Obviously, you don't need this app unless you're confused about deductions, but if you need the info, it's here. Taxable is another app that I instantly realized was from the same company due to its signaturely bad design. This app has the same simple premise, but helps you figure out what is taxable.
Ask a CPA (Free)
This free app gives some basic tips about taxes in a number of categories, but it's better if you have a specific question. You can ask any question for free. If all goes well, you'll get an answer. If you want a more reliable (and possibly more detailed) answer, there's another app called My Pocket CPA, which also lets you ask a question, but charges a fee (usually around $10) per answer. We recommend My Pocket CPA if you have a more serious question, as it has a more detailed interface for asking. With Ask a CPA, you're mostly limited to a text box.
TurboTax 2012 (Free to download)
Intuit's TurboTax is the most popular tax software around, and for good reason. Like all versions, the iPad TurboTax app is quite user friendly, looks wonderful, and will guide you through the entire process of filing your federal and state returns, step by step. If your taxes are especially simple, there is also an iPhone and Android phone SnapTax app that can scan your W2 and fill most stuff out for you. TurboTax is likely how I'll be filling out my taxes this weekend.
TaxACT Free Federal Edition (Free to download)
If you're a TaxACT user and got ready to file your taxes with the help of it's Tax Central smartphone app, you can stick with the company to complete your taxes. Once you're ready to file, you can use TaxACT's Free Federal Edition app. Like it's competition, this app allows you to prepare, print, and e-file your tax return. There is a financial aid worksheet for college loans, bookmarks that allow you to add notes to questions you're unsure of, and guidance for any gray areas you may encounter. Filing through TaxACT costs $15. From what it promises, it seems rather feature rich. However, the reviews are mixed at best. Approach with caution, because the last thing you want to do is mess up your tax information and have an audit on your hands.
We'd like to see more…
While the selection of apps on the iPad is, in some ways, better than those for iPhone or Android, it could be better. The list expanded a little more this year, but it's still pretty much a duopoly between H&R Block and TurboTax when it comes to taxes. Hopefully, more quality apps will be released by next year. Until then, enjoy this comic from the creator of Dr. Katz.
This article was originally posted on Digital Trends