I’ve dreamed for years that the IRS could always be with me in my pocket. Well, they were nightmares, actually, but that’s besides the point. The important issue is that those dreams have come true, with the new and improved IRS2Go app!
To quote the app listing page, downloading this app will connect you “with the IRS whenever you want, wherever you are.”
Which sounds amazingly close to a threat.
IRS2Go is available for both Android and iOS. Remember the whole “targeting not-for-profit organization” that got the IRS into all kinds of hot water a couple years back? Looks like IRS2Go proves they’re still discriminating scoundrels: there’s no Blackberry app available.
So what does this government subsidized app actually do for us? Other than keeping us constantly connected with the IRS, of course.
Well . . . not a whole lot.
I’m not sure what I was expecting. Something worthwhile, I guess. I mean, it’s free, but I need a reason to have IRS2Go taking up space on my phone. As tax professional, it seems like I should be the perfect candidate for any IRS created program. Yet I’ll probably delete it as soon as I finish this post.
The IRS2Go app is broken out into three sections. Let’s go through them, starting with the flagship feature.
That’s right! With IRS2Go, you can check your refund status anywhere you have your phone and the internet! Which you could do before, but now you have an app to do it instead of having to go to IRS.gov. Good thing we have the app to save us three clicks or so.
The problem with this feature is that it doesn’t save any of your information. I mean, I don’t really trust the IRS to create a secure app to store all my sensitive data, but typing it in every time is a pain.
Worse than that, you’re asked for three items every time: your SSN, Filing Status, and Refund Amount according to your filed return.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not the kind of person who goes around memorizing my refund amount every year. Which makes this app significantly less mobile. Unless you also have your return saved on your phone, which seems like a bad idea.
Wait, is this app encrypted? That “Privacy Notice” link doesn’t say. Ah, whatever, I’m sure no one would be interested in that kind of information.
Free Tax Help
The next best feature uses your phone’s location to find the nearest place to get free tax help. It worked as advertised, pulling up a list of locations near me, including dates and times they’re open.
What I haven’t been able to check is if any of them would actually help me for free, but I’m they wouldn’t. Those types of services typically have pretty strict requirements, which typically precludes a-hole tax accountant trying to figure out if they can do a better job than you.
Lastly, the IRS2Go nightmare feature.
Unfortunately it didn’t end up being some IRS version of Five Nights at Freddy’s.
Instead, it’s just a list of places you can follow the IRS. Like their Twitter account or their YouTube page. I’m sure they’re all super exciting, but I decided to pass on exploring further. Especially since all of them pull you out of the app.
Let’s see. IRS2Go has a once-a-year feature that requires me to memorize my refund to be helpful. It has a one-a-year feature to find free tax providers without any explanation on who can use them. And it has a any time of year feature to get you linked up to their Twitter account.
Definitely a “need to own” app. I’m deleting Candy Crush Saga to make it fit.