Overview of the IRS2Go Smartphone App
Check Your Tax Refund and Get IRS News on iPhone and Android-Based Smartphones
Taxpayers can check the status of their federal tax refund on their Web-enabled smartphone by using the IRS2Go application. Launched by the Internal Revenue Service on January 24, 2011, the IRS2Go software can be installed on the Apple iPhone and smartphones based on the Android operating system.
Key Features of the IRS2Go Smartphone Application
The IRS2Go mobile software offers the following functionality:
Ability to check the status of your federal tax refund.
Users can input their Social Security number, filing status, and their expected refund amount. The software will then communicate with the IRS servers to retrieve the refund status.
Taxpayers can also check the status of their federal tax refund by accessing the Get Refund Status page on the IRS website. That web page is fully encrypted with the "https" prefix on the URL. By contrast, the IRS reported in their initial news release about the IRS2GO app that "taxpayers enter a Social Security number, which is masked and encrypted for security purposes. Next, taxpayers pick the filing status they used on their tax return. Finally, taxpayers enter the amount of the refund they expect from their tax return."
If you notice, the IRS says that on the IRS2Go phone app, the user's Social Security number will be masked and encrypted. They do not say that the user's filing status and refund amounts will be masked and encrypted.
As a result, I am concerned that the IRS2Go phone app might not offer the same level of security as the IRS's website.
Ability to make tax payments.
In addition to checking your refund status, you can also make tax payments through the IRS2Go mobile app by paying directly from your bank account or using a credit or debit card.
Individual taxpayers can use their secure IRS Direct Pay feature for free.
Ability to subscribe to IRS Tax Tips.
The IRS publishes their tax tips daily through the filing season. Smartphone users can subscribe to these tax tips, which will be delivered via email to the email address associated with the phone.
Ability to subscribe to the IRS' social media feed.
Users of the IRS2Go app will see the two most recent Twitter messages from the IRS and can subscribe to the official IRS Twitter feed, @IRSnews. Users can also follow the IRS on Tumblr and YouTube.
Is IRS2Go a Good Deal for Taxpayers?
I am skeptical that IRS2Go represents a useful tool for American taxpayers. I am particularly concerned about the application's security features. Are telephone carriers able to "see" filing status and refund data? If the phone is accidentally lost or stolen, will another person be able to see this tax return information?
Where to Download the IRS2Go Application
- iPhone users can download the IRS2Go app from the Apple App Store.
- Android OS users can download the IRS2Go app from the Android Marketplace.