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Jewish World Review
Adapt to a changing tax world
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT)
As we gaze over the fiscal cliff, here are a few smartphone apps to help deal with the ever-changing world of taxes.
Most of us prefer to avoid the taxman. But when you need to be in touch with the IRS - and most of us do at some low point every year - its IRS2Go app is free for Android and Apple.
From a simple menu, you can use the app to find out the status of a refund or to sign up for a Tax Tips newsletter.
One link takes you to the IRS news page to review the agency's latest announcements. Another links to the IRS's own YouTube channel, where it posts tutorials on, for example, how a natural disaster might affect your tax bill, or what to do when you owe taxes but can't pay.
A contact screen offers one-tap voice calls to the agency for your questions about preparing returns or responding to IRS notices. If you need copies of prior-year tax returns, just fill out a brief form on the app and the IRS will mail the records to you.
The BNA Quick Tax Reference, free from Bloomberg BNA, for Android and Apple, is set up to help you figure some tax scenarios for 2013 - with and without the extension of existing tax cuts. Just toggle the cuts "off" or "on" and watch your potential tax bill rise or fall. What fun.
The app displays corporate and individual rate schedules, standard and personal deductions, estate and gift tax rates, and IRA and retirement plan contribution limitations.
An iPhone app, iTaxes-USA, that costs $1.99 and is from TaxApps CPA L.L.C., provides more detailed information - based on IRS publications - on what's deductible and what isn't. (If you need a prosthetic leg, for example, that is a deductible medical expense, but your subsequent dancing lessons aren't.)
The app also has a checklist of the forms, receipts, bills, and other documentation you need for doing your taxes. You can add your own items to the checklist. As a bonus, there's a list of about 200 taxes and fees just to cheer you up, including use taxes, excise taxes, amusement taxes, and intangibles taxes. If you love the list, you can send it to Facebook or Twitter with a tap or two.
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• Track mental health symptoms via phone
• Making it easier to trade your contact information
• Use smartphone to research genealogy, post family shots
• App help with finding -- or quitting -- that job
• Apps to stay ahead of schooltime tasks
• Apps to help you keep control of your spending
• Stay in the know while on the go
• Apps for cheating at games
• Scanning a doc or lighting the way
• City tours guided by smartphone
• Apps that flex your brain
• Clear your key ring with apps that store loyalty cards
• Sniff out allergen information
• Speak and these apps will listen --- and transcribe
• Viddy, a video version of Instagram
• Gardening via smartphone
• Homework help, available via smartphone
• Get some help with exercise motivation
© 2012, The Philadelphia Inquirer. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
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