This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Your Smartphone's Newest Skill: Filing Your Tax Return

Stocks in this article: HRB INTU

SAN DIEGO ( TheStreet) -- These days you can use your smartphone for just about everything, including e-filing your taxes.

In fact, submitting tax returns via a mobile device is the fastest-growing way of filing, according to H&R Block (HRB) Product Specialist Heather Watts.

"There's a lot more people, getting a lot more comfortable doing things on their smartphone," Watts says. "If you have your W2 in front of you, it can be done in 15 minutes."

E-filing via a smartphone is incredibly convenient thanks to various technological advances. For instance, with H&R Block's smartphone software, called the 1040EZ App, you can snap a picture of your W2 with your phone and the software takes the information from the picture and inputs it into your tax forms. This feature eliminates a great deal of typing or manual entry of information.

TurboTax (INTU) has a similar smartphone app for simple tax returns, with similar photo capabilities. Called SnapTax, the TurboTax version has received more than 8,000 ratings and five stars from users, says Julie Miller, TurboTax's director of public relations and social media. Their software is free to download but charges $20 to file each return. H&R Block's smartphone software is free when used to file a simple federal and state return.

Filing from your smartphone, however, is not recommended for people with more complex returns, which include a Schedule A or Schedule C, Watts says.

If you want to e-file via a tablet such as an iPad, there's another version of software available from both companies. Because the screen on an iPad is larger than that of a smartphone, the software it uses is slightly different, mimicking the more traditional software used online. Neither company charges to download their iPad software. TurboTax charges a fee when filing, though, with prices starting at $29.99 for federal returns and $36.99 for a state return.

And even do-it-yourself filers occasionally have questions, right? The companies have come up with a solution. Taxpayers using the deluxe and premium versions of H&R Block At Home for the iPad can chat live with a company tax professional, and the same goes for TurboTax: Before hitting the send button on their e-filing, users of TurboTax software can get free tax advice via a telephone number posted on the company's website.

"There's this hybrid out there of 'I want the convenience of doing my taxes myself from home, anytime, anywhere, but I want to know that if I have a question I can call a highly qualified professional," Miller says.

Miller and Watts predict that technology will continue to become more accommodating when it comes to filing taxes on your own. Future conveniences incorporated into the tax filing process might include Skyping with a tax professional or other ways of "virtualizing" the experience, Miller says.

"The mobile market is still in its infancy," Watts adds. "Meaning we're going to see a lot more people using mobile devices to transact. The more we can make it easier on clients, the better."

"As we look to future, what other types of documents would you want to take pictures of and pull data from?" Watts adds. "That's where I see the market heading. How do I get to the point where I don't have to populate the documents myself?"

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,053.71 +23.50 0.13%
S&P 500 2,088.77 +6.89 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,806.8590 +33.3870 0.70%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs