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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.

I had a minor snafu when importing last year's tax forms using an iOS device. The app wants to import TurboTax or H&R Block files created using last year's desktop apps, but has no access to iCloud drive or Dropbox, so it can't actually import those kinds of files on those devices. This feature works perfectly well on your Mac, but instead directs you to your Camera Roll on your iPhone or iPad. That aside, H&R Block's Web interface works equally as well as a standalone app. 

The Web app's interview process has been redesigned and streamlined, and it's easy to navigate and enter data no matter what type of device you're on. Plus, H&R Block has added a new feature called Refund Reveal, which attempts to explain why your refund is going up or down when you enter new information. 

One thing H&R Block lacks is the option to take photos of your W-2 and import the data automatically, although some employers can enter their Employer ID number and have the data imported that way.

Financially, H&R Block makes the best sense of all the tax apps for a few reasons. First: It's far less expensive to file taxes with H&R Block, and it's free for many filers with a Max of $80 for H&R Block Premium Federal and State filers compared to $120 for the same filing with TurboTax. In addition H&R Block gives you the option to get a portion of your refund as a gift card, to which H&R Block will add up to 10-percent of the amount you load on the card.

H&R Block still lets you start your return on your computer and finalize it at your local Block office, or have an H&R Block rep work with you remotely. They're also the only tax product here that offers "in person audit support" and guaranteed access to real human beings when you have tax questions.

Alternatively, you can download the Mac version directly, or pick up a boxed copy.

Pay only when filing. Prices range from Free to $80 depending on your filing needs. 

TaxACT 

This year is the first time I've ever looked at TaxACT, which is by far the least expensive of all the applications here. You can do just about everything for less than $25, including filing your state tax return--you can't, however, file the equivalent of a TurboTax or H&R Block premium return, which includes small business income. 

Like TurboTax and H&R Block, TaxACT lets you work on your taxes on any Web-connected device. If you have a PDF of last year's tax return, TaxACT can import that information to use as a starting point for this year's return.

 

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