My Taxes? I Filed by Phone
By VERNE G. KOPYTOFF January 14, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO - Few chores are as unpleasant as doing taxes. But filers can avoid some of the drudgery by turning it over to their mobile phones.
Intuit, the company that makes TurboTax software, introduced an application on Friday that lets users automatically fill out the1040EZ, the most basic of the I.R.S. personal tax forms. Filers simply photograph their W-2 and the app does much of the rest.
Intuit's SnapTax app, available for the iPhone and Android phones, relies on image-recognition technology to read salary and withholding information from the W-2. Users answer a few questions and review their return for accuracy before submitting it electronically by tapping a File Now button.
Intuit charges $15 for each filing through the app, and it says that completing a return can take as little as 15 minutes.
The app is intended for consumers who are increasingly using their mobile phones for everything, including shopping and banking online. Taxes are just the next step, although it may take some getting used to for people who are accustomed to preparing their returns with a pencil and calculator or on a desktop computer.