Overview of the IRS2Go Smartphone App

A woman looks at her phone.
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Tom Werner / Getty Images

Taxpayers can check the status of their federal tax refunds and deal with various other tax-related tasks on their web-enabled smartphones by using the IRS2Go application. First launched by the Internal Revenue Service in January 2011, it's the official mobile app of the IRS.

The app offers several features that may be useful to you. However, most of the features it provides are simply options to access information on the IRS website, rather than through the app itself.

Key Takeaways

  • IRS2Go is a free app you can download for iOS and Android phones.
  • The app provides information and links to important taxpayer information about tax-refund statuses and tax payments.
  • The app helps you locate IRS tax offices and locations for free taxpayer assistance sites.
  • The IRS2Go app is available in English and Spanish.

Why an App?

The IRS2Go app was conceived when the IRS Commissioner launched an initiative to provide more accessible services to taxpayers that were in line with available technology. The IRS assembled a team, including a vendor, to create a prototype of the initial app, which ultimately debuted just in time for the 2011 tax season.

You can install the app on Apple and Android devices. The Android platform alone was downloaded by more than five million taxpayers in the first five years of the app's existence.

Check the Status of Your Tax Refund

You check the status of your tax refund by entering your Social Security number, filing status, and expected refund amount, and the software will then communicate with the IRS servers to retrieve your refund status. The IRS reported in its initial news release about the IRS2GO app that Social Security numbers are masked and encrypted for security purposes.

Once you enter the correct information, the app will provide one of three status updates (assuming the IRS has received your return):

  • Return received
  • Return approved
  • Refund sent

Taxpayers can also check the status of their federal tax refund by accessing the Get Refund Status page on the IRS website.

The IRS does not indicate that a user's filing status and refund amounts will be masked and encrypted, so the IRS2Go phone app might not offer the same level of security as the IRS website. But you can get a login security code from the app if you have reason to be concerned about protecting your information. Getting the code on the app eliminates the need for having it texted to you.

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.

Keep in mind, though, that you aren't paying directly through the app. Instead, the app sends you to the IRS's payment page.

Access Tax Help

The app's Tax Help tab has three help options: IRS Free File, a site locator a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly sites, and an AARP tax-aide site locator.

Of the three options on the page, only the VITA site locator keeps you in the app. Tapping the option takes you to another screen that asks you for your zip code, then displays the nears taxIf you tap on the free-file option, the app sends you to the IRS's free-file website. If you choose the free file or AARP options, the app sends you to each program's website.

IRS Social Media, Tax Tips, and Contact Info

The "Connect" tab in your IRS2GO app includes the following:

  • A link to the IRS's Twitter and YouTube pages
  • A sign-up for tax tips

A contact page that includes a variety of phone numbers that you can tap to call, along with links to online IRS tools and an IRS office locator.

The phone numbers on the IRS2Go app's contact tab include those for individuals, businesses, victims of identity theft, exempt organizations, retirement plan administrators, and government entities. It also provides numbers for the IRS's taxpayer advocate and international services.

Security

The final tab of the app includes an authentication code the IRS requires you to provide when you log into your IRS account from a web browser. While the code is required to log in online, you don't have to have the app to provide the code. You can choose to have the IRS send you an authentication code by text, instead.

Where to Download the IRS2Go Application

iPhone users can download the IRS2Go app from the Apple App Store. Android users can download the IRS2Go app from the Google Play store. The IRS2Go app is also available at Amazon, and it's free. It's available in both English and Spanish versions.

Article Sources

  1. Digital.gov. "IRS2Go App." Accessed Nov. 17, 2021.

  2. Digital.gov. "Check Your Refund Status AND Pay Your Taxes With IRS2Go." Accessed Nov. 17, 2021.

  3. IRS. "IRS Reminds Taxpayers to Use the IRS2Go App to Check Refunds, Downloads Top 250,000," Page 1. Accessed Nov. 17, 2021.

  4. IRS. "Taxpayers Can Check the Status of Their Refund on IRS.gov or the IRS2Go App." Accessed Nov. 17, 2021.

  5. App Store. "IRS2Go on the App Store." Accessed Nov. 17, 2021.

  6. Google Play. "IRS2Go." Accessed Nov. 17, 2021.