Taxpayers who file the 1040EZ income tax form have always had it easier, at least when it comes to the paperwork. They've long enjoyed the ability to file electronically, for instance. Things just got even easier for 1040EZ users, thanks to TurboTax SnapTax, a free Android app from one of the biggest and most trusted names in tax preparation, especially online tax prep and e-filing. With SnapTax, you can file your 2012 federal income tax returns using your Android smartphone, or tablet, or any device running Android, so long as it has a high-resolution camera. Simply take snapshots of … Read more
Sorry to burst your bubble, folks, but it is fully tax season. So, if you haven't gotten your W-2s, 1099s, and 1040s all compiled and organized, you'd best get moving.
In any case, here are a few tax apps that you should check out, no matter where you are in the tedious filing process. Download them and enjoy. They will definitely make your life a bit easier. And who knows? They might even make your tax-filing experience fun! Maybe.
If your tax situation is simple (no children, don't own a home, income under $100K, and so on), then you are likely filing a 1040EZ this April. If that's the case, then you may want to think about filing your taxes right from your mobile device.
With the TurboTax SnapTax app, you can fill out your 1040EZ tax form right on your phone or tablet. The app can even enter income information using your device's camera.
Before getting started, SnapTax asks if you'd like to create an account. You can work without one, which is nice, … Read more
Intuit's TaxCaster app can quickly estimate your federal tax refund based on just a few bits of personal information. Even for the most inexperienced taxpayer, it's incredibly simple to understand and use.
At the top of the screen is a meter that displays your estimated tax refund. As you make your way through the app, it considers your answers and recalculates its estimate accordingly. And of course, the more answers you provide, the more accurate its estimate gets.
Three main tabs sit just below the meter, each housing a different category of questions: About You; Total Income; and … Read more
Aunt Jill Schlesinger joins the show today to talk about the value of bagels. That's right, for the last two days, Wilson has started the show by munching down on his new brunch fave: an onion bagel with lox and vegetable cream cheese. She makes her recommendations for the best bagels in town, and you might be surprised to find out that she's in love with a bagel made by a Vietnamese guy. In the meanwhile, she tells Justin that given his meager investments of 16 cents in his IRA, he should just file the 1040EZ.
When we finally get into some questions, Jill spreads her financial love. First up was a question about whether you should pay down student loan debt first or shove cash under your pillow. Aunt Jill says the equation is simple. First, have about 6 to 12 months of living expenses saved up. Second, pay down your debt if the interest rate is higher on the debt than your savings, which more than likely is the case now.
Next, we had a question about whether to throw your money into a 401(k) account. One listener doesn't trust the market, but given his age, Jill says he should man up and put his money into the market. He has 40 years of work left and during that time the market is going to go up. There will be some downs, she says; however, she believes there will be more ups than downs. Jeff thinks at the rate Social Security is going, though, that he might have another 70 years left of working.
We got a lot more questions answered on this surprisingly educational episode of The 404. Just to keep it in the tech world, we asked Jill if there were any technology-related investments we should make. Jill points out that this is the ultimate "put all your eggs in one basket" for people who work in tech! Spread the risk! Wilson thinks that he should take all his money out of APPL right now.
As usual, we love having Jill on the show. If you have any more questions for her, be sure to add her on the Twitter at @jillonmoney. In the meantime, add The 404 at @the404, or the rest of the guys at @rhapsodyartist, @jeffbakalar, and @malusbrutus. Plus, you can check out her daily ramblings at CBS MoneyWatch. Call in and leave your Jill love at 1-866-404-CNET (2638). Tomorrow, we have the lovely Alison Rosen on the show to talk all manners inappropriate.EPISODE 530 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video
Tax Assistant for Excel is a set of Excel worksheets that assist users in completing their income taxes using forms 1040 or 1040A. We're not sure why a user would want to use Excel for taxes when there are so many programs and Web sites that are better-suited to the job, and functional problems in Tax Assistant for Excel make it even less attractive.
The workbook presents users with Excel versions of IRS forms and workbooks with an introductory page that's supposed to provide instructions. Unfortunately, we kept receiving error messages about macros (although we had enabled macros … Read more
Jill Schlesinger joins the show today after a few months with her presence. A lot has changed since then, we got stickers, the U.S. Senate has 59 Democrats, and now ABC is doing promos for CNET.com. (The 404 Podcast and CNET are owned by CBS.)
Yep, you read that right. On the ABC show "Modern Family", Phil and Clair Dunphy argue about a new universal remote control, and in the course of talking about being a male cheerleader, Phil mentions that CNET gave the remote a smokin' hot "three and a half mice." Unfortunately, we switched from numbers to stars rather than mice. Jeff and Jill think it's the new "Arrested Development" on Fox plus "The Office" on NBC.
Speaking of NBC, Jill weighs in on the whole Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien debacle. She wishes she could get paid 40 million dollars not to work, but we're glad to see Conan sticking up for his staff.
Finally, Jill offers some good financial advice this year. It's tax season, and she recommends that you readjust your tax withholding because you're essentially giving the government an interest-free loan for a whole year. Otherwise, whip out a 1040EZ, a glass of scotch and just do your taxes. It ain't that hard.EPISODE 502 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video
Windows 7 has spawned a new breed of inexpensive laptops at retailers like Best Buy and Frys.
At many stores on Thursday, Best Buy refreshed almost its entire stock of laptops: all running Windows 7 and all sporting new model numbers. Frys--a megastore electronics retailer with locations throughout California, Arizona, and Texas--also refreshed many of its laptops with new Windows 7 models.
One of the most inexpensive Windows 7 arrivals is the Gateway model EC1410U. This tiny laptop is distinctly Netbook-like in appearance but uses a more powerful Celeron M ULV 743 processor (1.3GHz, 1MB cache) than the Atom-chip fare found in Netbooks. In addition to the Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64-bit version, other features include 2GB of memory and a 250GB hard disk drive.
Many seductive Windows 7 newcomers are categorized as "ultrathins." These slim designs are typically discernibly bigger than Netbooks (though, as evidenced by the Gateway above, it's now always clear-cut) and pack more processor horsepower. The Toshiba Satellite T-135 (model: T135-S1309), which falls into this category, is priced at $549 at Best Buy and comes with Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 32-bit operating system, a 13.3-inch display, a dual-core power-efficient Pentium processor, 3GB of memory, a 320GB hard disk drive (5400RPM), and built-in Web cam.
The HP dm3 (model: dm3-1035dx), also an ultrathin and also priced at $549, packs 3GB of memory… Read more