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TaxCaster Mobile is a handy tool to have around at the onset of tax season. This app for your Android phone can help you determine the ball park size of your refund, or how much you'll owe.
To be clear, this app isn't a program you can use to actually file your taxes. What it does is make an assessment of your situation, and then determines which TurboTax product will be most helpful to you.
Because it crunches your general finance numbers, though, you're also able to use TaxCaster to estimate your potential tax liability. This way, you won't be shocked when you meet the accountant or it comes time to file your taxes officially.
This app is exceptionally user-friendly, which I attribute to its design. The app's background is a beautiful shade of bright blue, and there are cute little icons positioned next to every question which makes them less intimidating. It's also more exciting than paper-and-pencil and black-and-white tax forms.
The format in which you're asked questions makes them very easy to answer. They're either yes-or-no style questions ("Are you married?" or "Head of household?") or, when you have to fill in numerical amounts (say, for annual income or mortgage interest), there's a moveable slider bar on which you can pick out an exact amount.
While the app does seem to work well, I will admit that TurboTax's reputation is what made me feel most at ease using TaxCaster. I've used their software before, and found it to be helpful, accurate and effective. That being said, I also felt a little turned off by TaxCaster. Because this app is designed to show which of TurboTax's programs you need, it seemed like a clever form of marketing. TaxCaster is helpful, but also feels a bit gimmicky.