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 on January 24, 2011, it's the official mobile app of the IRS.
It can be installed on the Apple iPhone and smartphones based on the Android operating system. The Android platform alone was downloaded by more than five million taxpayers in the first five years of the app's existence.
Version 2 of the app was unveiled in January 2012, adding more features, including videos and the ability to request tax records. The IRS2Go mobile software offers several other helpful functions as well, from helping you track down that refund or make payments to the IRS if you owe taxes.
Why an App?
The IRS2Go app was conceived when the IRS Commissioner launched an initiative to provide more easily 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.
Check the Status of Your Tax Refund
Users can input their Social Security numbers, filing status, and their expected refund amount, and the software will then communicate with the IRS servers to retrieve their 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.
Taxpayers can also check the status of their federal tax refund by accessing the Get Refund Status page on the IRS website. The page is fully encrypted with the "https" prefix on the URL.
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. Individual taxpayers have been able to use the secure IRS Direct Pay feature for free since 2016.
Subscribe to IRS Tax Tips
The IRS publishes tax tips daily throughout the filing season. Smartphone users can subscribe to these tips, which will be delivered via email to the address associated with the phone.
Additional help is available on the app's "Free Tax Help" page, from information about the IRS Free File alliance to the locations of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) services.
Subscribe to IRS Social Media Feeds
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 Facebook and YouTube.
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 Google Play.
The IRS2Go app is also available at Amazon, and it's free. It's available in both English and Spanish versions.