Yes, There's Even an App for That: All About Tax Smartphone Apps

Staff

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Having trouble with your taxes? Put the smart back in your smartphone with some tax-related apps. Take our quiz to learn how these mostly free apps can help you stay organized, prepare for tax day and even file on the go.

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), what percentage of American taxpayers e-filed their federal returns in 2010?

Of that 70 percent, only 35 percent were folks who filed their own taxes. The majority were e-filed by CPAs and professional tax preparers who are required to file electronically.

How many smartphones were sold worldwide in 2011?

Yup, you read that right: There were more than 400 million new smartphone sales. In the first quarter of 2011, smartphone sales were up 85 percent over the same period in 2010.

How many active apps are available for download in the iTunes App Store store as of March 2012?

At last count, the iTunes store holds 583,922 active apps.

How many apps are listed in the "finance" category of the iTunes App Store?

True, some of those 3,521 apps are in Chinese or Arabic, which can't help most users in the U.S. However, a surprising number of them are in English and really useful for tracking your finances and preparing for tax day.

iDonatedIt is a free app for tracking non-cash charitable donations and calculating their fair market value. What price does iDonatedIt attach to a used child's jacket in "good" condition?

iDonatedIt allows you to enter in donated items individually based on categories and conditions. The price it gives for a kid's jacket in "good" condition is $4. The same jacket in "better" condition is worth $6.

Tax Organizer is an app that lets you take photos of your paper receipts and save them as tax-deductible expenses. What percentage of a business-related meal can you deduct from your taxable income?

If the meal is entirely business-related, then you can deduct 100 percent of your expense. If you start billing every lunch as business, even on the weekend, you might draw the attention of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), though.

The Mint app from the personal finance Web site Mint.com helps to automatically categorize expenses and keep track of your budget in real time. If a four-person family in Boston spends $5,338 a month, how much of that total budget should they expect to spend on food, on average?

Food expenses of $587 represents 11 percent of the total monthly budget. The Mint app can help you categorize and tag tax-deductible expenses to be better prepared for tax day.

The EITC Finder app helps you determine if you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. What is the maximum dollar amount of the EITC in tax year 2011?

A family with three or more children earning around $15,000 a year will qualify for the maximum EITC of $5,751.

The EITC Finder app asks a series of questions to determine if you qualify fo the EITC. Which of the following conditions DISQUALIFIES you from receiving the EITC?

You can be a resident alien with no children and still qualify for the credit, as long as you file as an individual, head of household, or married filing jointly.

The IRS2GO app links to videos on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) YouTube channel. Which of the following is NOT the title of an IRS YouTube video?

The IRS videos are surprisingly useful, given the agency's reputation for making things more complex than necessary. However, the IRS doesn't offer advice on video on tax evasion.

Which of the following tax documents can you NOT request for free using the IRS2GO app?

For some reason, the IRS2GO app includes a feature by which you can order your tax return transcript or tax account transcript, but not other potentially more useful documents like tax return forms.

My Tax Refund is an app that helps you estimate the arrival date of your tax refund. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), if you e-file and choose to receive your refund as a direct deposit in your bank account, when is the soonest that it will arrive?

The fastest you can get your refund is 10 days after e-filing. If you don't choose direct deposit, the average turnaround time is 21 days.

The My Tax Refund app can also show you the status of your federal and state tax return filing. Which of the following is NOT one of the three possible status reports?

While an audit is certainly a possibility, it's not one of the status options. The third one is "pending," which can simply mean that they haven't had a chance to review your return yet.

What is the only type of tax return that you can currently file using a smartphone app?

As of March 2012, the only return you can file via smartphone is the 1040EZ, the simplest tax return reserved for straightforward tax situations.

Which of the following conditions would DISQUALIFY you from being able to file a 1040EZ tax return?

The 1040EZ return is restricted to people who make less than $100,000, have no children, are not self-employed, and lease or rent their home or apartment.

True or False: Both the SnapTax app and the H&R Block at Home 1040EZ app will automatically fill in your income information if you take a picture of your W-2 with your smartphone.

Isn't that cool? Since the W-2 is a standardized form, the app knows where to look for your name, salary and wage info, Social Security number, employer ID number and more.

The TaxCaster app collects basic information from you to predict if you will owe taxes or if you will get a refund. How many taxpayers received a refund in 2010?

Those 108,892,000 refunds totaled more than $326 billion.

Some of the most popular tax apps are made by Intuit, the parent company of TurboTax and the inventor of Quicken and QuickBooks. In what year was Intuit founded?

In 1983, Intuit's first product was Quicken personal finance software, designed to help balance the family checkbook.

One of the features of the Ask a CPA app is to connect you with a CPA in your area. How many CPAs are registered with the Ask a CPA app?

With a database of 400,000 eager CPAs, one might wonder if the whole point of the Ask a CPA app is to increase references to real-life CPAs.

The Tax Receipt app gives you a detailed breakdown of how the federal government spends your tax dollars. If you pay $8,500 in federal income tax, how much of that money will be used to pay Social Security benefits?

Yup, 1,500 bucks. The largest percentage of your federal tax dollars goes to Social Security, since Social Security is the largest single line item on the federal budget.

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