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Eric Conlon Eric Conlon
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Smartphones and mobile tax apps simplify tax preparation anywhere, anytime

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Imagine filling out your 2011 tax return in the palm of your hand. Whether you're using a smartphone or mobile tablet, there are several smartphone features and mobile apps that can help you prepare and even file your 2011 taxes, as well as check the status of your refund, from anywhere.

Mobile devices can simplify things for those who want to file their own taxes when and where it's convenient for them. They are truly all-in-one devices that can help you get things done faster and get what you want when you need it.

U.S. Cellular recommends the following apps available for download from the Android Market:

TaxCaster Mobile helps you accurately estimate your tax refund, or how much you owe, so you can see how line-by-line items affect your end result. Simply enter information like income and deductions and it'll do the calculations for you. With an estimate of your refund, you can make some last minute moves to get more money back.

SnapTax: Designed for taxpayers with simple tax returns (Form 1040EZ), SnapTax lets you snap a photo of your W-2 with your mobile device's camera and then automatically transfer the information right onto your tax return. Answer a few simple questions, review your tax return and tap 'File My Taxes' to e-file in minutes. E-filing your state and federal taxes with SnapTax costs $19.99. You can even register for direct-deposit of a refund check.

The IRS's IRS2Go app allows you to track a tax refund by entering your social security number into a secure and encrypted system. Also access tax planning and preparation tips, or connect to the IRS's YouTube, Twitter and Facebook accounts to learn the latest information on tax law changes, initiatives, products and services.

Stay informed. Use your smartphone's web browser to view YouTube videos from the IRS for the latest information on tax law changes, initiatives, products and services. You can also signup to receive tax filing updates from the IRS to your email.

Don't be late. This year, the filing deadline has been extended to April 17. Nevertheless, the date always seems to sneak up on us. Use your smartphone's calendar to schedule a date to complete and file your tax forms in plenty of time to avoid penalties. Be sure to set a reminder, too.

Eric Conlon is the director of sales for U.S. Cellular in New England


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