Developer: Intuit Inc.
Price: free Download on the App Store
TurboTax SnapTax is a novel and convenient way to do your taxes, requiring only your iPhone and whatever W-2’s your employer sent in the mail. While it might not be the most cost-effective option out there, and it certainly will not work with every tax bracket, SnapTax is sure to find an adoring group of users who are too busy to do taxes the old fashioned way.
The way it works is simple. After you fire up TurboTax SnapTax, it will ask you to take a picture of your W-2 form. This process will feel familiar to anyone who has electronically deposited a check using Chase Mobile. Once the form has been processed and uploaded, the app will ask for some basic information such as name, social security number, and a few odd questions here and there to determine if the user is eligible for an array of federal tax rebates. After that, you’re ready to file electronically and put the unpleasantness of taxes behind you, at least for another year.
While TurboTax SnapTax is a free download from the iTunes App Store, the service itself is not truly free. SnapTax will file both Federal and State taxes for $14.99, which is conveniently payable as an in-app purchase. This might sound like an unbelievable bargain, but there are definite limitations and drawbacks. For one, SnapTax will only work for the 1040-EZ type of tax form. The “EZ” in that name means “easy”-- this is the simplest type of tax form one can fill out, usually not requiring more than a single page of information. For another, the 1040-EZ form is usually free to file online, at least for Federal taxes, and many states have free e-filing systems, too. Finally, the 1040-EZ form is not available to everyone. If you have dependents, if you own real estate, or if you have investments or multiple jobs, you’re likely out of luck.
So, who is TurboTax SnapTax for, anyway? If you have a single source of income, and fifteen bucks doesn’t seem like that much money, you’ll likely love it. If you’re terrified of taxes, try it out. If you procrastinated so much that you don’t even have time to find a pencil, definitely get this app. It’s also worth mentioning that, if you get any rebate larger than a scant fifteen dollars, this app will pay for itself.