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Reviewing the IRS2Go App

Thanks to advances in technology, filing taxes isn’t nearly as complicated as it once was. Today, many tax filers complete their tax returns online or through apps. The IRS released its own mobile app in 2011. While you can’t use it to submit your tax forms, the IRS2Go app can make the tax-filing process easier to navigate. A financial advisor can help you optimize your tax strategy to save money for investing and retirement goals.

The Basics of the IRS2Go App

The IRS2Go app is the Internal Revenue Service’s official app. It’s easy to use and it has several different features. For example, you can use the app to make a tax payment, check the status of your tax refund and find free tax preparation services.

The IRS provides free tax tips each business day during tax season and three times a week over the summer. Throughout the year, it tends to send out important details and explain policies that affect taxpayers. If you sign up to receive these tax tips through the IRS2Go app, you’ll get information about things like e-filing and tax credits sent straight to your email inbox.

You can also use the app to find phone numbers for local IRS offices and follow the IRS on social media. Besides its Twitter profile, the IRS has a YouTube channel and a Tumblr account.

How to Download the IRS2Go App

The IRS2Go app is easy to find and download at any of the major app stores for Apple, Google or Amazon. You can download the app just like you would a game or other useful mobile app by clicking on the “buy” button. Don’t worry, though, as the app is completely free to download and use. As soon as the app completely downloads then you’ll be able to start using all of its features immediately.

Features of the IRS2Go App

The IRS2Go app has many features that will allow you to interact with most actions you would take with the IRS. From checking on your refund status to getting free tax help, the app is designed to make all of your direct tax activities with the IRS easier. Here are the four main features that you can do with the IRS2Go app:

1. Make Tax Payments

Reviewing the IRS2Go App

If you owe the IRS money, you can use the IRS2Go app to pay your tax bill. The IRS Direct Pay system takes your payment directly from your savings or checking account and immediately lets you know when it has been submitted. Plus, it’s free to use.

If you’d prefer to make a debit or credit card payment, you can do that through the IRS2Go app as well. Your payment processor will charge you a fee, but in some cases it may be tax deductible.

When you’re ready to make a payment, you can push the app’s “Payments” button. If you want to learn about other payment options (like paying in monthly installments or trying to pay less than the amount you owe), the app provides a link to that information.

2. Check Your Refund Status

Anxious to get your tax refund? You can find out the status of your federal tax refund by pushing the “Refund Status” button within the app. To find out whether your refund is on it’s way, you’ll need to enter your Social Security number, your tax filing status and your anticipated refund amount.

The IRS says that it sends out most tax refunds in less than 21 days. If you’ve e-filed your tax return, you can check your refund status within 24 hours. If you’ve filed a paper tax return, however, you may not find out where your refund is for about four weeks.

Keep in mind that there’s more than one way to check the status of your tax refund. The IRS offers a Where’s My Refund? tool online. If you haven’t received your refund 21 days after filing electronically or more than six weeks after filing a paper return, you may need to contact the IRS by phone.

3. Get Free Tax Help

Reviewing the IRS2Go App

If you’re disabled, you speak limited English or you make less than $57,000 per year, you may qualify for free tax assistance through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Folks who have been authorized by the IRS to assist taxpayers can help you complete your tax return electronically and answer basic tax questions. The IRS also offers a special program for elderly Americans (age 60 and above) who can’t file taxes on their own.

VITA and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) sites are located in schools, community centers, shopping malls and other places across the country. You can use the IRS2Go app to find one near you. If you don’t qualify for VITA or TCE, you may find a local self-preparation site that lets certain individuals file their taxes for free with the help of an IRS-certified volunteer.

4. Generate Security Codes

Finally, the last important feature of functionality in the app is the ability to generate security codes. The app allows you to generate security codes you may need when trying to log in to certain IRS online services via the IRS.gov website. This would be instead of using text messages to receive security codes, which may come in handy if you change phone numbers or if you have another issue.

Bottom Line

The IRS2Go app can be beneficial for taxpayers who need to send in a payment or find out when their refund will arrive while they’re on the go. Folks who don’t have time to make sense of the Internal Revenue Service’s complicated website may like that the app can quickly address some of their tax concerns.

Of course, the app has its limitations. It doesn’t offer half the calculators and tools that you can find on the IRS website. What’s more, users may be concerned about their privacy. The government says that the app is secure, but it’s unclear whether a thief might have access to private tax information if the user fails to clear their screen.

Tips for Filing Your Taxes

  • A financial advisor can help you optimize a financial plan to minimize your income taxes and reach other financial goals. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • If you don’t know whether you’re better off with the standard deduction versus itemizing your deduction, you might want to read up on it and do some math. You could save a significant amount of money by educating yourself before the tax return deadline.
  • Figure out whether you’ll be getting a refund or will owe the government money so you can plan your household budget accordingly. SmartAsset’s Tax Return Calculator can help you figure this out.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/SIphotography, ©iStock.com/Dutko, ©iStock.com/PeopleImages

Amanda Dixon Amanda Dixon is a personal finance writer and editor with an expertise in taxes and banking. She studied journalism and sociology at the University of Georgia. Her work has been featured in Business Insider, AOL, Bankrate, The Huffington Post, Fox Business News, Mashable and CBS News. Born and raised in metro Atlanta, Amanda currently lives in Brooklyn.
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