Tax refunds have gotten faster and easier to obtain in recent years, with the rise of e-filing and direct deposit in your bank account. Now the Internal Revenue Service is adding the latest enhancement: a smartphone app that lets you check on your refund's status.
It's a tool called IRS2Go.
The product may not appeal in quite the same way as a McLobster or a Five Guy's hamburger, but it shows how the IRS is trying to dish up tax help in formats that meet the nation's taxpayers where they are – usually on the go, cell phone in hand.
"This new ... app reflects our commitment to modernizing the agency and engaging taxpayers where they want, when they want it," said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman in unveiling IRS2Go, which was first released in January 2011.
To use the tool, taxpayers enter their Social Security number, which is masked and encrypted for privacy. Next, taxpayers pick the filing status they used on their tax return, and the amount of the refund they expect from their 2010 tax return.
The IRS says that for people who e-file, the app's refund function will work within about 72 hours after taxpayers receive an e-mail acknowledging their tax return has been received.
Tax Day 2011:
Part 2: What's new for homeowners?
Part 3: Checking on your refund? There's an IRS app for that.