Tax Day 2011: Checking on your refund? There's an IRS app for that.

The IRS has released an app that lets taxpayers track the status of their tax refund via smartphone.

Ann Hermes / The Christian Science Monitor / File
An employee enters the IRS office in the JFK Federal Building in Boston, Mass., March 24.

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.

The smartphone application, available for iPhone and Android phones, will also deliver basic tax tips. Downloads are available at the Apple App Store and Android Marketplace.

"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 1: When is the tax deadline? Hint: It's not April 15.

Part 2: What's new for homeowners?

Part 3: Checking on your refund? There's an IRS app for that.

Part 4: When did America levy its first income tax? The Civil War.

Part 5: Schedule M could be worth up to $800

Part 6: Four ways to protect your tax returns from data thieves

Part 7: Last-minute tips to keep the Internal Revenue Service away

Part 8: Tax Day 2011: Why do presidents release tax returns? Hint: 'I am not a ...'


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