Apps make filing taxes easier



Photo courtesy of MCT Campus

Sidney Keith

This tax season, students are ditching paper forms and filing electronically.

Alyssa Hodge, junior history major, doesn’t file separately from her parents, but she does help her mother fill out the forms.

“Filing online is pretty easy,” she said. “We just put all of our information in TurboTax and then submit it online.”

Brandon Beitzel, a former Kent State pre-nursing major, said he files his taxes using the online version of TurboTax.

“It’s really easy because I’ve done it there before,” he said. “Filling everything out the first time was a pain, but after that, it just remembers all of my information, so I just need to fill in a few more numbers and it’s done.”

Beitzel said filing online is a great alternative to using paper forms.

Some other free applications to help with taxes include:

  • IRS2Go – A Refund tracking application.
  • H&R Block Tax Central – Includes many features like a tax estimator and calculator, quizzes and checklists
  • TaxCaster – An interactive tax estimator from TurboTax

“I wouldn’t even want to mess with the paper stuff,” he said.

Hodge said that the online version is somewhat complicated for her mother to use.

“It’s a little hard because she’s not that great with computers, but it does make it easier for her to organize some things,” she said.

She added that her family paid around $50 for the TurboTax software and filed for free online.

“It’s worth it because it makes it pretty easy,” she said.

Beitzel said he paid around $37 to file on the website.

“It’s a fair price, and I’m sure there’s nothing as easy for cheaper,” he said.

Other ways to file are slowly emerging too.

Smartphone users who want to use SnapTax app must:

  • File a 1040EZ
  • Not own a home or have kids?
  • Only have W-2, interest or unemployment income to report


  • Have earned less than $80,000 ($100,000 if married) last year

SnapTax , a smart phone application released by TurboTax , is available for all U.S. taxpayers for the first time this year.

The application lets users take a picture of their W-2 form. It then transfers the numbers on the W-2 to the tax form.

It’s a free download for Android and iPhone users, but it costs $15 to file.

Although it is cheaper and easier than filing online, Hodge explained that she probably still wouldn’t use it.

“I wouldn’t use it because I just like doing it on the computer. Plus it would drain the battery so fast,” she said.

For students who don’t want to file taxes on their own, H&R Block, TurboTax and TaxACT all offer free federal tax return filing. The price to file a state return varies. There are also upgraded versions available for more money if taxpayers have trouble or need additional help.

Contact Sidney Keith at [email protected].