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Intuit expands mobile TurboTax tools

Intuit Inc., the maker of TurboTax, has launched a suite of iPhone applications as part of its overall mobile strategy just in time for tax season.

SnapTax, currently only available in California, lets taxpayers prepare and file their federal and state returns. TaxCaster provides an estimate of what a consumer’s 2009 tax refund will be and Tap2Track Mileage uses GPS to help consumers keep tabs on their mileage.

“Mobile is a big part of Intuit’s overall strategy,” said Colleen Gatlin, a spokeswoman for Intuit, San Diego. “Knowing when and where it makes sense to go mobile is something that’s important to the entire company.”

Intuit is a provider of business and financial management services for small and midsized businesses, banks and credit unions, consumers and accounting professionals. The company is known for its QuickBooks, Quicken and TurboTax software.

Intuit into mobile
The SnapTax application is targeted to younger consumers because of their rapid adoption of mobile services.

SnapTax lets taxpayers prepare and file their federal and state returns from their iPhones by snapping a photo of their 2009 W-2 form.

Additionally, consumers are asked a few basic questions, review their tax information and click send to submit and file their returns.

SnapTax is $9.99 and only available in California. The $9.99 price of download covers federal and state preparation costs as well as the filing cost. 

Ms. Gatlin said there are challenges in expanding the application because tax refunds vary by state.

TaxCaster, originally an online tool at, is free to download on the iPhone or iPod touch.

The TaxCaster application gives consumers an idea of what their tax refund will be or how much they may owe.

Consumers are asked a few questions and are then given an estimate and actions to take, such as changes to make on the W-4 form, to help prepare taxes correctly.

TaxCaster is being targeted to anybody who wants to use their mobile device as a tool while preparing their taxes.

Mobile mile
Tap2Track uses the iPhone’s GPS capabilities to track how much mileage a consumer has clocked.

The application is $3.99 and Ms. Gatlin said it is a tool for self-employed consumers, consumers who work from home, volunteers and real estate agents who track their mileage for tax return purposes.

Ms. Gatlin said Intuit is depending on virtual word-of-mouth marketing to promote these applications. Intuit hopes consumers will download and review the applications, spreading the news to others.

In addition, SnapTax is being marketed through direct mail marketing and online advertisements.

Intuit sees mobile as the new frontier of preparing taxes.
“Doing taxes on mobile is really the next progression,” Ms. Gatlin said.