irs

IRS2Go review

IRS2Go is a free Android app that keeps you in constant contact with the IRS, and lets you access your tax documents on your phone. You can also check on the status of your refund, if you're getting one, and find free tax preparation services.

Pros

Going mobile: Every year, more US taxpayers use their cell phones to prepare and file their federal returns. IRS2Go supports that functionality.

Refund status: Expecting money back? IRS2Go can update the status of your tax refund.

Prep & landing: We could search for free tax prep services within our ZIP Code or specify … Read more

File your return from anywhere with these top tax apps

Avoid the mad, end-of-tax-season scramble by getting some apps to help you calculate how much you owe Uncle Sam. Even if you've already filed, these apps can help you get organized and prepared for next year's return.

Organizing your tax records

Shoeboxed (iOS, Android)

Gone are the days of keeping all your receipts in a box above the fridge. Shoeboxed makes it easier to track your expenses -- just take a photo of your receipts, and Shoeboxed will safely store them. From there the app will archive based on dates and sort your spending into different categories (food, … Read more

Review: Homeowners can eFile, too, with TurboTax Deluxe

TurboTax Deluxe includes free federal eFiling and helps homeowners, investors, and charitable givers maximize deductions. TurboTax Deluxe offers real-time help and searches for all possible deductions, including medical bills. Its Audit Risk Meter flags potential audit triggers and helps you avoid them.

First-time visitors to the TurboTax storefront can sign in, create a free account, or start any tool for free. TurboTax Deluxe's compatible form list was a welcome surprise; basically, it handles everything but business forms like Schedule C and those for estates and trusts. There's an option for first-time filers, too. We logged on to the … Read more

Review: Homeowners can eFile, too, with TurboTax Deluxe

TurboTax Deluxe includes everything in Intuit's online TurboTax Free Edition, starting with free federal eFiling, but it also helps homeowners, investors, and charitable givers maximize deductions. TurboTax Deluxe offers real-time help and searches for all possible deductions, including medical bills. Its Audit Risk Meter flags potential audit triggers and helps you avoid them. You can try TurboTax Deluxe for free, but it's now a lot more affordable.

First-time visitors to the TurboTax storefront can sign in, create a free account, or start any tool for free. Considering it's just a step up from the Free version, TurboTax … Read more

Google to IRS: Hand over our $83.5 million tax refund

Google has sued the Internal Revenue Service over a stock transaction dating back to 2004 with America Online.

The company filed the complaint in U.S. tax court on Thursday, claiming that the U.S. government owes the search giant $83.5 million. Bloomberg, which was first to report the news, spoke with a Google spokeswoman who said that the company hopes "to have it resolved soon."

Google argues that the IRS erroneously disallowed a $238.6 million deduction the company took related to the difference in value between what AOL paid to exercise a Google stock warrant … Read more

The tech behind Kinect and how it will control your living room

LOS ANGELES -- At first I thought I had misunderstood him, so I made sure to reply slowly. "So you're saying Kinect is going to blast IR signals at your living room, and they're going to reflect off walls and stuff and bounce back to control all of your devices?"

"That's correct," Marc Whitten said.

"Whoa," I replied.

"Kinect has a really powerful management of that energy," he explained. "It's just light," he went on, "but it just exists in a different spectrum." I … Read more

Deep breath: Senate set to vote on Internet sales tax

Many polls from the past few years have found that lawmakers in Washington, D.C. are just slightly less popular than catching the flu while on a beach vacation. Remarkably, the U.S. Senate could approve a bill this week that will likely make lawmakers even less popular with many online shoppers.

The Senate is expected to vote as early as Monday on the long-debated issue of an Internet sales tax. The bill being considered in Washington now would require online outlets with sales of at least $1 million to collect sales tax in all states, even those in which … Read more

Senators to IRS: Don't snoop on taxpayers' private messages

A dozen U.S. senators warned the IRS today against warrantless snooping on taxpayers' confidential e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter messages.

In a stiffly worded letter (PDF) to the tax collection agency, they asked the "IRS to confirm that it will immediately establish a warrant requirement when it wants to obtain e-mail and other electronic personal correspondence" from American companies.

The letter also asked the IRS to "provide a timeline" for updating its internal procedures to guarantee that the contents of electronic files would be accessed only after agents follow the privacy-protective traditional procedure of obtaining a … Read more

IRS chief: We'll rewrite our e-mail search policy

The head of the Internal Revenue Service said today the agency would abandon its controversial policy that claimed the right to read taxpayers' e-mail without first obtaining a search warrant.

Steven Miller, the IRS' acting commissioner, said at a U.S. Senate hearing that the no-warrant-required policy would be ditched within 30 days for e-mail, but he did not make the same commitment for other private electronic communications.

"We intend to do that" for e-mail, Miller said, in response to prodding from Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who has become a frequent champion of civil liberties in … Read more

IRS remains mum on taxpayers' e-mail privacy rights

The Internal Revenue Service has declined to answer questions about whether it obtains a search warrant before perusing Americans' e-mail messages and other electronic correspondence.

CNET contacted the IRS last Wednesday morning to ask whether the agency's internal procedures require warrants signed by a judge. That was in response to newly disclosed internal IRS memos saying Americans enjoy "generally no privacy" in their e-mail, Facebook chats, Twitter direct messages, and similar online communications.

Despite repeated queries, the IRS has not responded to last week's questions. Instead, an agency spokesman provided a statement saying:

Respecting taxpayer rights … Read more