5 Financial apps to ease your tax season headache

Brittany A. Roston - Jan 9, 2017
5 Financial apps to ease your tax season headache

We’ve rolled into the new year, and that means tax season is upon us. The deadline to file your taxes won’t roll around until April 18, however, getting started early will give you time to spread out the task and keep frustration low. Here to help are a handful of mobile apps designed specifically for finances and tax filing in particular, including the IRS’s own under-utilized mobile offering.


The IRS is known for its long wait times, convoluted website, and generally slow correspondence, but few know about its most modern service: a mobile app called IRS2Go. This app is available for Android, iOS and Amazon’s Fire tablets, and it pares down the IRS’s online tools and general information in a way that is easier to navigate than the agency’s desktop website.

The app’s main interface revolves around checking the status of your tax refund, assuming you’ve already filed your federal tax return and the government owes you money. If the situation is reversed and you find yourself owing additional taxes, the IRS2Go app can also be used to make a payment from a bank account or credit/debit card.

Finally, the app also provides access to tax filing information on IRS Free File, which is available to individuals who made less than $64,000 last year, as well as a directory for finding AARP tax aides for senior citizens and free tax prep sites that anyone can visit in person.

The IRS2Go mobile app is most useful for individuals who need to make a tax payment or check on the status of their refund.

TurboTax Mobile App

If you haven’t yet filed your taxes, you can do so using your smartphone or tablet and TurboTax’s mobile app. Much like its desktop app and website system, the TurboTax mobile app for Android and iOS makes it possible to submit your tax return digitally. This method is arguably one of the fastest, as it allows users to snap a photo of a W-2 form and have all of the data automatically filled into the appropriate tax form.

It is free to file Form 1040A and 1040EZ through TurboTax, though paid options are available for some other tax payers. The TurboTax Mobile App supports payments with Apple Pay for iOS users, as well. The mobile app uses a variety of technologies for securing content, including biometrics when possible, data encryption, and verification codes. You can read about the app’s security here.


Sometimes the IRS will request copies of documents, particularly if they decide you never sent a past tax return and you find yourself having to resend it. When it comes to the nation’s federal tax agency, you have two options here: you can mail the content in through regular USPS mail and wait for a confirmation letter, or you can fax the content.

Many IRS representatives have their own fax number, making it possible to get a document to them immediately while still on the phone with them…assuming you own a fax machine. As fax machines become less common in the average household, faxing apps have arisen to take their place, and the two most popular are arguably FaxFile and eFax.

With these faxing apps, digital documents can be faxed using a smartphone or tablet to a fax number. Free trial faxes aside, faxes are typically paid per-page or in the form of in-app credits, which can be purchased in set value blocks using a debit or credit card.

You can download eFax for iOS and Android, and FaxFile for Android and iOS.

Ask a CPA

This mobile app is exactly what its name suggests: a way to ask a certified public accountant a question without making an appointment with a local agency. The app makes it easy to narrow down your question for specific categories and to get responses from professionals.

The idea here is that while filing out your taxes, you may have one or two questions that aren’t answered adequately through online resources. Ask a CPA bridges that gap, providing a personal answer from a CPA, but for free and without the hassle of meeting in person.

Ask a CPA is available on iOS and on Android.


This final app won’t make this year’s tax season any easier, but it will help with next year’s tax season. Expensify is an app available for Android and iOS that allows you to track your business expenses throughout the year, everything from the cup of coffee you may have grabbed with a client to mileage or Uber rides and corporate card charges.

The app supports snapping photos of receipts, tracking both time and mileage, importing credit card invoices, and adding other expenses. Expenses are tracked, including those from multiple different currencies, and there’s support for next-day reimbursements. Expense reports can also be generated, and there are integrations with major accounting software like QuickBooks.

You can download Expensify for both Android and iOS.


No single mobile app can substitute for a real-life certified professional, however, taxpayers often choose to handle their taxes on their own every year. If you’re one of these individuals deciding to go at it alone, these apps can help you get through the paperwork quickly, files your documents electronically, and then check on their status, all from your smartphone or tablet.

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