Whether we like it or not, tax season has arrived. We still have some time before April 15, but it’s definitely better to file now, rather than procrastinate and possibly miss the deadline.
It takes time to find all those receipts, files, confirmations and even your W-2s if you didn’t properly file them. But missing the deadline isn’t the only reason you should file sooner rather than later. Tap or click here for one important reason to file your taxes this week.
To help prepare you to file taxes, the IRS developed an app. It allows you to check your refund status, make payments, is offered in English and Spanish, and offers a few other helpful features. Could this be the right app for you this tax season?
What to expect from IRS2Go
IRS2Go is the official mobile app of the IRS and is free for both iOS and Android devices.
Here are the features you can expect:
- Check refund status
- Make payments
- Free tax help
- Videos to help file taxes and use the app
- Security codes instead of texts for IRS notifications
Here’s a quick video explaining the app:
What IRS2Go does not do
As convenient as the app is, it doesn’t do the one thing taxpayers really want: The ability to file taxes.
Again, you can check on your refund and you can get help filing, but you can’t use IRS2Go to submit any tax forms. It’d be great to get access to necessary documents through the app, and have a free place to file.
The help IRS2Go offers is also contingent on whether you qualify for the services. For example, IRS2go can help you contact the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) site near you, but if you’re not elderly they won’t help you.
Similarly, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) you can be referred to for in-person help requires you to be of low income, which the IRS defines as earning $65,500 or less a year for a family of four. The only other way to get free assistance is if you are disabled or have difficulties understanding and speaking English.
The app does offer a Spanish version, but if you speak any other language, IRS2Go can’t help you.
Is IRS2Go safe to use?
IRS2Go has another feature those who have expensive texting plans might benefit from. You can use the app to get security codes you can use to log in to IRS services.
This gives you multi-factor authentication when filing your taxes. If you don’t use the app, the IRS will text you these codes, so using the app could save you some money. But this begs the question of whether IRS2Go is secure enough to trust.
Since you can connect your bank account, credit card and debit cards to the app, it’s really important IRS2Go is secure. So far, it hasn’t fallen prey to any hacking issues.
But if you leave your phone unattended and don’t have a passcode on your phone, a thief could have access to vital tax information simply by opening IRS2Go. If a thief gets past your passcode, you’d have the same problem. Tap or click here to discover how to passcode-protect individual apps.
But if you log in to IRS2Go on an insecure Wi-Fi network, a hacker could get similar access whether you use passcodes or not. This is why connecting to public Wi-Fi is so dangerous.
If you’re concerned about your digital security and you’re not sure if your home Wi-Fi is secure enough, or if you don’t follow the internet safety rules, it would be best not to download this app. Tap or click here for Cybersecurity 101: What you need to know to stay safe online.
For those who still want to use an easier method to file their taxes than having to meet an accountant, we suggest the best tax software of 2019. Tap or click here to see what software you should use this year.