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The best iOS services for tackling your taxes

Jeffery Battersby | April 2, 2015
Still need to file your taxes? Let your iPad help. Here's the rundown of TurboTax, H&R Block, and TaxACT's offerings for iOS.

While there have always been iOS versions of TurboTax, in the past you could only work on a 1040-EZ on your phone. If your return was more complicated than that, you'd be directed to the Web, to the iPad, or to the desktop applications. Now, no matter where you start your return, you'll be able to complete it on that device. You also technically don't need to download any of TurboTax's iOS apps--the Web version of TurboTax works on perfectly on all your devices.

The iOS and Web apps sport a new interview process that is designed to simplify the process of figuring out the kind of information you'll need to enter. During that interview, you'll be asked some basic questions to assess changes that may have taken place over the year--such as a marriage or divorce, a new house purchase, or income earned while working out of state. In the past, this has been a literal checklist that was sometimes intimidating to parse. Now, while it is still essentially the same checklist, it consists of big happy buttons that help you determine which version of TurboTax you'll need to complete your taxes. 

There are a few more improvements, too. Taking a photo of your W-2 now works no matter what style W-2 you receive (in the past, TurboTax was pretty poor at capturing the info on horizontally-oriented forms).

The form capture tool also has a new feature that, when you're verifying the data automatically entered in the form fields, zooms in on the area of the scanned form where it collected the data from so you can double check that it's correct.

When you're done answering questions and entering data, TurboTax makes sure there are no red flags and that you have no worries about a potential audit. Finally, you pay and file.

As far as the Mac version goes, you can find TurboTax on the Mac App Store, directly from Intuit's website, or you can purchase a boxed copy online or at a local retailer. TurboTax's Mac App Store version is the only offering that allows you to pay when you file--all others need to be paid for in advance. 

Pay only when filing. Prices range from Free to $120 depending on your filing needs.

H&R Block 

There is now only one H&R Block app for iOS, which can only be used for filing a 1040-EZ. Otherwise, for all your tax filing needs, it's all Web-based, all the time. 

Like TurboTax, the H&R Block service has gone through a complete interface overhaul that is designed to simplify your tax filing process. The Web app determines what type of devices you're using and customizes the user interface to fit that device. 


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