Are Tax Smart Phone Apps Worth It? - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Are Tax Smart Phone Apps Worth It?

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SALISBURY, Md. - Tax season is upon us, and filing Uncle Sam's returns has not only gone paperless, but now you can even file from your smart phone.  As with any tech advancement, apps are designed to make everything, including filing your taxes, a little less "taxing," but if you aren't careful it could end up costing you.

With "TurboTax Snap," you just take a picture of your W-2, answer a few questions, and your pretty much done; H&R block's app offers something similar, but Bob Lockwood of Essential Accounting in Salisbury, says these apps aren't necessarily the best thing for everyone.

"Anyone that has a straight forward W2 tax return that's the only thing that they really have to present in their tax return, they should be able to use the simple apps that are out there.

If you have anything that might make filing more complicated like children, a mortgage, or any investments, you could run in to problems.  And if anything goes wrong, it's typically falls on the shoulders of the preparer.

"If something isn't right, the IRS is gonna send you a letter, and that letter might not come for a year, 18 months, [maybe] 2 years later," says Lockwood.     

So, while experts recommend you seek help fro m a professional when filing your taxes.  There are a few ways your smart phone can help you make smarter choices before you file.

Instead of just stuffing receipts in a shoe box throughout the year, you can just take pictures of them, and store it all in an online account using the free "Shoeboxed" app.

But beware, if you're handling any private information like social security or bank account numbers on your phone or a laptop, experts say stay off of unprotected public wi-fi, because anything you send out, others can pick up on.
 
Once you're done with the stress of filing, there's even better news.  If you filed online, there's an app from the IRS, which allows you to track your refund, and you only have to wait a few days to start tracking with the free "IRS2 Go" app which is available in Apple and Android stores.

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