Last night, after much procrastination, I started my taxes—on my couch with a movie playing on the TV, using only my iPad. I was testing out an early build of TurboTax, which is now available for the iPad (in addition to the online and desktop versions). I got through the bulk of my taxes by the time the movie was over.
Taxes are never fun, even on the iPad. But the new TurboTax iPad app makes it fairly seamless. Anyone familiar with TurboTax will recognize the interface. It takes you through the same guided questions the online and desktop versions do, asks you about your financial situation, and keeps a tally of your refund up top (or, gulp, taxes you still owe). The app works in both landscape and portrait mode, and knows when to pop up a number keypad or the full keyboard.
Just like the desktop version, the entire app resides on your iPad, with no need to connect to the Internet until you file. It is free to download and do your entire taxes on, but once you want to file, it costs the same as other versions of TurboTax (starting at $29.99)
The one big drawback of the app for existing TurboTax users is that you cannot import last year’s data. You have to start from scratch. I thought entering all my personal and W-2 data on the iPad would be a pain, but it really didn’t take that long. And while you cannot import data from previous years, you can move your current year taxes over from the desktop version. So you can start on your computer and type in the bulk of the data, and then move over to the iPad and vice versa.
Next year, you should be able to import data from previous years. And who knows, with the new cameras in the iPad 2, maybe you will be able to simply take a picture of all your tax forms like you can with SnapTax for the iPhone (which only works with W-2s for now, but that’s a start).