It is part of my job to subscribe to tax related articles to keep up to date on new laws, court cases and even the IRS tax tips because, occasionally, they do send out things that I am not aware of. The tax tip email blast I got at the time of writing this blog was titled, “Taxpayers Can Connect with the IRS on Their Phone.” So, I kept reading and I kid you not… the IRS has a mobile app! The sad part is, I quickly pulled out my phone to download it because I wanted to see how bad it really was. I mean not to pick on just the IRS, but typical government websites, based on history, are usually awful! I was curious to see the rating on this new mobile app called IRS2Go.
Now, the app has 3.2 out of 5 stars with 407 reviews. In my book, that is pretty good. I mean I was expecting 1.5 – 2-stars, full disclosure. Of course, I downloaded it because I had to test it out for all of you, or at least play around in it. The app offers the following capabilities.
- Allows you to check the status of your refund – This is one feature I did check and validate and it was surprisingly fast. You must put in your Social Security Number, filing status and refund amount from your tax return. It then immediately gave me a message telling me my refund was direct deposited on a specific day. It proceeds to tell you what to do if you haven’t received your refund. I give this feature a 5-star rating.
- Make a payment – It gives you the option to pay directly from your bank by taking you to IRS Direct Pay on the app and you can proceed to fill out the information. Now, I didn’t make a payment because I didn’t need to and you should have already made your second quarter estimate back on June 15! But this is for next time – September 15! Anyways, I put in the reason for payment as estimated tax and it prefilled everything else in (WOW factor on a government app). Then of course, it wants to validate your identity based on your previous year tax return, which is super quick as well. Once that is done, you’re ready to make a direct debit and pay the IRS. Easy. The other payment option is by debit or credit card and it shows all the different fees from all the different vendors, no research required. Feature rating: 5-stars
- Free tax help – This one is nice if your AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) was $66,000 or less because then you can do your taxes for free. Click on the link in the app and fill out the eligibility verification and it tells you which free tax software you qualify for and which ones will file your state return for free too. Awesome way to save for those that qualify. It also provides a “Free Tax Prep Sit Locator” for those who make $54,000 or less, have disabilities or speak limited English. Just plop in your zip code and select one location to get directions, hours of operation, dates, languages and whether appointments are needed. Feature rating: 5-stars.
- Connect – This is exactly that, all the different ways to connect to the IRS. This includes via Phone, Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube, and it allows you to subscribe to the tax tips.
- Security – The next tab is a security feature. If you were prompted to set up this feature to use online tools, then you can input your information and ‘security key’ and still use the app as well. That was thoughtful of them!
According to all the reviews, you either love it with 5-stars or hate it with 1-star. The 1-star ratings seem to all say the same thing about the refund status check and getting an error, but I checked mine and it was accurate. Other 1-star ratings, well, those people seem to be NOT rating the app and trying to use it to rate the IRS, which, if anything, is entertaining. The app, which can be downloaded for free, gets 5-stars from me.
Chris Morrison, CPA MAFM