Every year, as the end of tax season approaches, last minute filers are looking for the easiest and fastest ways to file and submit their returns. Instead of going to a CPA or a tax prep service, many are using mobile applications. Discover the pros and cons of tax apps and whether they can help you file your taxes on time this year.
The Pros of Tax Apps
Mobile tax applications are designed to be user-friendly and readily accessible. One of the primary advantages that comes with downloading and using a tax app centers on its engaging design and easy-to-use format.
Most apps walk you through the tax filing process step-by-step so that you avoid making costly mistakes. The information is simplified so that all of the tax terminology and questions are simple to understand and answer.
Second, mobile apps can be downloaded and used on a variety of devices. You can download your favorite tax application to your:
- tablet computer
- laptop computer
Last, the most basic of mobile tax apps are free to download and use to file your federal tax return. While you may be charged to file your state return, depending on where you live, you typically can file your federal taxes at no charge. Many apps also offer upgraded versions that allow you to file itemized or more in-depth returns.
The Cons of Mobile AppsWhile mobile tax applications are easy and free to use, they also come with several downsides about which you should be aware. First, the most popular apps may not be available in your mobile store depending on your device and mobile carrier.
Second, even the securest and most effective of tax apps rely on the performance and security of your device. If your smartphone, tablet, iPad, or laptop is prone to glitches such as shutting down or freezing, you could jeopardize the integrity of your return and the app's ability to function properly.
Third, you must be able to connect to the Internet either via mobile data or WiFi in order to use the apps to file your returns. Many apps require data or wireless Internet to work.
Fourth, your tax returns are only as secure as your device. If you have a virus on your laptop or tablet computer, smartphone, or iPad, you could compromise your own personal information. Before you download and use one of the tax apps, you should download and run a high-quality antivirus program.
Finally, upgraded versions of the most popular tax apps cost money to download and use. Most apps only make available their basic versions at no cost. If you want the upgraded version, you often must purchase it before you can file your returns.
Even so, you may wonder what tax apps are most popular today. Some of the apps that garner the best online reviews include:
As the tax filing deadline nears, many tax preparation services are booked full. You can file your taxes at your own leisure by downloading and using a mobile tax app. Before you choose a tax app to download to your mobile device, you should learn what pros and cons it has in store as you file your returns.