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Android apps to survive tax season 2011

by Kristen Nicole

There's just under a week to go until Tax Day which is April 18 this year. As the deadline nears, so does our anxiety about filing taxes. Luckily for you, there are several Android apps that can help you prepare your taxes, and even file them. It’s great to see financial institutions and services target consumers on the mobile level -- I did a list of Android tax apps last year, and there were far fewer apps dedicated to tax services. Here are some useful Android apps to help you survive tax season this year.

Official apps

TurboTax SnapTax lets you do all your tax work on your Android. Use the camera phone to take photos of completed tax forms, complete the detailed forms in the app, and submit your e-file securely. This Intuit-powered app works for federal and state taxes, and will help you through the basic filing process. The app is free to use, but charges $19.99 for complete tax return services.

H&R Block has gotten into the mobile game with its first Android app, Tax Central. Free, this app lets you check the status of your Federal refund, search Q&As from other users, and create a custom checklist for your personal tax filings. The app also has a tax refund estimator, and features news and updates in its video gallery. Ready to sit down with H&R Block? There’s a GPS locator included in the app as well.

The IRS is also making a go of the mobile scene, with a special IRS2Go app for Android users. Free, this app tracks the status of your refund, delivers tips as well as the IRS Twitter stream, and offers instant access to IRS customer service, as needed. If you want official word on your tax returns, this is the app for you.

Resources & more

TaxCaster Mobile is another Intuit app that calculates your federal tax refund. It’s a free reference tool for estimating your tax returns, seeing how much you’ll get back, as well as how much you’ll owe. TaxCaster goes through a series of basic questions, such as marital status and age, to determine tax return estimates.

A third app from Intuit is MyTaxRefund, a tracking tool for filed tax returns. Enter basic info like your social security and zip code, and this free Android app will track it down. Once your tax return has been located, MyTaxRefund details its status, as well as estimates for your federal refund. For rejected tax returns, MyTaxRefund will earmark the issues, so you can resolve them promptly.

The Pageonce Pro Android app has a tax center built in, making it easy and convenient to manage your taxes from a personal finance app. The tax center is a new addition to the $12.99 premium app, updated just in time for tax season. You can’t file your taxes from here, but you have the bulk of the necessary financial statements you’ll need when it’s time to file.

BNA Quick Tax Reference is a great tool for filers, with a handy guide for tax rates, mileage rates, corporate and individual tax rate schedules and estimates. You can determine deductions for your house and business, calculate capital gains and dividends, and determine needs around trust, estate and gift taxes. If you’re keen on filing the right way, this free Android app is indispensable.

Tax Receipt is a free tax calculator, but it also gives you a breakdown of where your taxes are going. This Android app displays spending for the country’s defense, science, healthcare and Social Security, giving you a broader view of how taxes are allocated within the U.S. How patriotic are you feeling?

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