Take the pain out of filing your taxes with Intuit's TurboTax SnapTax

by Tim McLain

It's true folks, there are only two certainties in life: death and taxes. The good folks at Intuit have been tirelessly addressing at least one of these existential crises for years, and Android owners can now use the power of their mobile devices to greatly speed the state and national tax-filing process.

TurboTax SnapTax is a free app that brings some much-needed speed and ease to doing your taxes. Get out that W2, snap a photo of it with your phone, and the app goes to work filling in the appropriate fields in your returns. Next, the program asks you a few simple questions, allows you to fill in your personal information (full name, address, Social Security number, occupation, etc.), then lets you review the results before sending it in.

That said, SnapTax is useful to only a very specific set of tax filers. If you don't have any children, deductions or mortgage interest to write off, and only derive income from W-2s, interest or unemployment compensation, you'll be set.

Once you've entered your data, you'll need to pay $14.99 for the TurboTax SnapTax filing key in order to transmit your file to your state and the federal government.

Still, this free app is up-front and clear in what it can and can't do. If you answer a question that means your return goes beyond the run of the mill, the app will tell you so. In the future, here's hoping Intuit or its H&R Block (see its Tax Central app) will soon create updated tax-filing apps that can address more complicated returns.

One last tip? Since you can't move the app to your SD card, be sure to delete it once you're done filing your returns to save space. That's economizing!

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