If you plan to do your taxes on your iPad, tests show that TurboTax for the iPad is the best software to use. TurboTax's main competitor, H&R Block At Home, offers only Free, for basic tax returns, and Deluxe editions for the iPad, while TurboTax for the iPad offers a Deluxe version that will suit most people, or you can step up to Premier or Home and Business versions. A state tax return costs $37 extra with TurboTax for the iPad, versus $30 extra with H&R Block.
You can access TurboTax for the iPad in two ways: as a native iPad app, which allows you to work on your taxes offline; or through the regular online version, which opens in the Safari web browser. The Safari version looks and acts more like regular TurboTax, and it lets you switch between computers more easily as you work on your taxes. Both iPad versions are missing the Flags feature, so you can't bookmark pages with written reminders to yourself. Although both lead you through a Final Review process, flagging possible mistakes and omissions on your return, only the Safari version gives you fields to type in the missing information, like regular TurboTax. The native iPad app "only gave us a list of lines that had a value of zero and told us to walk through the return from the beginning until we found them," PCMag.com's Kathy Yakal says.
Three top sources test TurboTax for the iPad against H&R Block's iPad app -- PCMag.com, PC World and Macworld. User reviews at iTunes describe the app's real-world performance.
Kathy Yakal tests TurboTax for the iPad -- both the native iPad and Safari-based versions. Although a couple of features are missing, Yakal calls it a "surprisingly good" version of the regular software.
Review: TurboTax for the iPad (Tax Year 2011), Kathy Yakal, Feb. 10, 2012
2. PC World
After testing the tablet and smartphone versions of a few major tax software brands, Yardena Arar calls TurboTax for the iPad "the most useful offering" in that genre. Pros and cons of other iPad and Android options are discussed.
Review: Tax Prep? There's an App for That, Too, Yardena Arar, Feb. 16, 2012
Jeffery Battersby rates TurboTax Deluxe for the iPad 4.5 out of 5 -- almost as highly as he rates the regular TurboTax version. He also tries H&R Block's Free Edition for iPad, but he says it's too easy to leave out important information with that program.
Review: Find the Best Mobile Tax Filing App for iOS, Jeffery Battersby, Feb. 22, 2012
With more than 800 user ratings posted, TurboTax for the iPad maintains a high 4+ score. Some users give it a low score because they didn't understand that they were going to have to pay to file at the end. Others say the program crashed.
Review: TurboTax 2011 Tax Preparation -- Complete and Efile Your Income Tax Return, Contributors to iTunes