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Tax Preparation Apps

It’s the time of year when thoughts turn to taxes, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be stressful.

A number of apps are available to make the whole process easier, as PC Mike Wendland reports this week.

The TurboTax Tax Return App quickly and easily helps you file taxes. Take a picture of your W-2, answer some simple questions, and file securely from your mobile device or computer. The app helps you find deductions and connect with a specialist if you need additional help. The app is free for iOS and Android, though you do have to pay at the time of filing.

IRS2Go is the official app of the Internal Revenue Service and lets you quickly prepare and file your taxes from mobile devices. You can check the status of your refund within 24 hours of e-filing, or make a payment. The app is free for most mobile platforms.

TaxAct Express is another big player in online tax prep. It, too, allows users to photograph a W-2, and complete the rest of the forms with step-by-step guidance. It provide personalized recommendations based on your tax situation. Best of all, filing state and federal taxes online is free of charge. The app is free for iOS and Android.

Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the Roadtreking.com RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.