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New Task For The Phone — Filing Taxes

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(credit: CBS)

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DENVER (CBS4) – It’s a new task for your phone — filing taxes. If you can shop on your phone and bank on your phone, taxes are just the next natural step as long as your financial life is simple.

But can you really trust your phone to do your taxes? If your computer can do it, it’s likely your phone can too. Over the next year, Smartphones are expected to start outselling computers. Big tax companies are rolling out new apps that claim they can help you put together your tax return — even e-file it to the IRS. The IRS says it is in favor of anything that would make it easier for people to file their taxes.

TurboTax has rolled out the first start-to-finish app to file your taxes from your phone. TurboTax SnapTax is available in all states and works with both iPhone and Android mobile phones.

Certified Public Accountant Michael Sidon with The Seff Group sees the appeal. He says, “There is a market for it.”

To get started photograph your W-2 with your camera in your smartphone. The app uses optical character recognition technology to read the information and import it into its appropriate place. It asks you some questions, lets you review your form, and then files the return electronically. And all through the process the app keeps a running tab of your refund.

Not everyone can use the app. It’s only for taxpayers that would qualify for a 1040ez form.

“That is somebody that doesn’t have any dependents, that has income less than $100,000, and income that’s made up of just wages, and up to $1,500 of interest income,” Sidon said.

He also said you have to be taking the standard deduction as opposed to itemizing your deductions.

It’s estimated some 22 million taxpayers are eligible to file a 1040ez. But before turning to SnapTax or similar apps sure to be released by tax season, Jeremy Golden, Principal of Graham Golden Technologies, offers caution.

“Make sure your device is password protected so that if it did get lost or stolen it’s protected, and then you want to make sure you delete the data off of the device,” Golden said.

Golden does say the data transfer process is as safe as it is with a personal computer.

It’s a new tax-filing technology for the mobile crowd.

The app is fee, but TurboTax charges $14.99 to file both state and federal tax return.

The best deal may be from the IRS. Anyone who makes $58,000 or less can file free through the IRS website.

The thing to remember is to password protect the device and delete the information. If you lose your phone at a restaurant or movie theater, your personal information is not out there for everyone.

- Written By Jodi Brooks

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