Should you do your taxes on your smartphone or tablet?

pcess609 / Getty

It’s the start of a new year, and it means tax season will soon be in full swing for 2022. In January, you should receive your W-2, 1099, and 1098 forms, then it’s time to hire someone. ‘one to do it. your taxes, especially if they are more complicated, or do them yourself. And if you’re looking to prepare and file your own return, you might be interested to learn that electronic filing on your phone or tablet is one thing.

If you want to file your own taxes on mobile this year, there are a few things you need to know. In this guide, we’ll show you the pros and cons of making a return to your smartphone or tablet, and if you’re planning on going mobile this year, you can take a look at three tax apps that can get the job done.

iPad Mini and 9th generation iPad

You can start taxes on one device and collect them on another.

Scott Stein / CNET

Why do I have to do my taxes on my smartphone or tablet?

You might not like doing taxes on your smartphone as it can seem difficult and time-consuming, but there are many reasons why it might be a good idea for you:

It is convenient. Not everyone has access to a computer, but most people own a smartphone, whether it’s an Android or an iOS device. The most popular tax apps are available in both the Play Store (Google) and the App Store (Apple), so filing taxes on your mobile device, especially a tablet, is incredibly convenient if you don’t have no laptop or desktop.

It could be faster. If you’ve used a tax app before, reusing it can speed up the reporting process with previously saved information. And if you take advantage of mobile features, such as scanning documents with your camera, you could potentially complete your taxes faster on a phone or tablet than on a computer.

Live assistance is available on the camera. If you are having difficulty filling out any of the tax forms through the app, you may have the option of making a video call with a tax professional (such as an accountant or lawyer) for personalized advice. And if you’re worried that they’ll see your information, they can’t. They do not have access to your personal information unless you provide it to them.

Blog-956851442

Crooks and hackers could take advantage of you to do your taxes on your mobile device.

Queenie Wong / CNET

What’s wrong with doing my taxes on a mobile device?

As with everything, there is the flip side, which isn’t necessarily terrible but shows the negative side of doing taxes on your mobile device.

This could be a major security concern. Most of these tax apps have a built-in function that allows you to scan your physical W-2 or other tax papers with your smartphone camera, to automatically import your information such as your social security number, address and your phone number. Unfortunately, this can save a photo to your Camera Roll, which is bad news if you forget to delete it and your phone is lost or stolen. If someone has access to your device, they could easily find photos containing all your valuable information and use them for malicious purposes.

This can be difficult to do, especially if your taxes are complicated. Have you invested in cryptocurrency this year? Have you bought a house? Do you own a business? If you answered yes to any of these questions, filing your taxes on your phone or tablet might not be the best idea, as working on your phone can become difficult to deal with when taxes get more complicated.

The features available on the computer may not be accessible on the mobile. Often when the computer software is transferred to a mobile, some functions and settings are lost. It can be something as simple as a file size limit for downloads, which can make it harder to upload files to the tax app through your phone. Either way, these missing features can make it harder to complete your taxes on mobile.

If you choose to use mobile for your taxes this year, here are some of the best tax apps available.

TurboTax. TurboTax by Intuit is one of the most popular tax apps available on mobile devices. If you used the online version on your computer, the app is pretty much the same. To get started, you will be asked to answer several questions so that TurboTax better understands what your tax return will look like (dependents, deductions, credits, etc.). Once completed, you can start the free e-filing process (you will have to pay for more complicated returns) using a number of features – document scanning, video calls with tax professionals, multiple device integration , previous year’s data transfer and more – to make everything as transparent as possible.

H&R block. The H&R Block Tax File and Prep app offers many of the same features as the other apps on this list. You scan documents with your camera, enlist tax expert help, use multiple devices to complete e-filing, and enable security features like two-factor authentication and Face ID / Touch ID sign-in options . Once you are ready to file your return, you can have a tax professional do a thorough review and file on your behalf, or do it yourself. You can file for free if you have a simple tax return, but there are also paid options for more complex taxes (you only pay when you’re ready to file).

TaxSlayer. TaxSlayer isn’t a household name like the other two tax apps on this list, but there’s one major reason to consider using it for e-filing on your smartphone this year: the cost. While it lacks some of the features of its competitors, like scanning documents with your camera or receiving mid-year tax returns, TaxSlayer offers good prices for more complex tax returns involving self-employment, investments, rental properties and more.


Now playing:
Check this out:

Child tax credit: everything we know


4:17

Taxes are due very soon, so we’ve got you covered. Find out how to scan important tax documents with your phone or tablet and the best tax software for 2022: TurboTax, H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt and others compared.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective and independent reviews of our editors and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It was not supplied or ordered by a third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.