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2/10/2012
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IRS Adds YouTube, News Feeds To Mobile App

Users can use the app to watch IRS videos and check their tax return status on iPhones and Android devices.

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As taxpayers get busy filing their 2012 income tax returns, the IRS has expanded its mobile application with new features--including access to informational YouTube videos and agency news--that can help them with the process.

A new version of the IRS2Go app, which already allows users to check the status of their tax returns and refunds, now lets them order tax return transcripts--basically, a copy of the information in the return as it was originally filed--directly from their devices.

Users can also use the app to watch IRS videos that provide information on a variety of tax topics on its YouTube channel, which ranks as the fourth most-viewed among more than 125 federal government channels, according to the IRS.

IRS2Go--which the IRS first released last January for iPhones and Android devices--also includes a news feed and tax transcript service.

[ The IRS might be improving its mobile apps, but it still has work to do on its website. Read more at IRS Website Plans Too Vague, Watchdog Says. ]

The news feed pushes IRS press releases as they become available, while the transcript service allows users to order their tax return transcript to be delivered in the mail, according to the IRS. The app also lets users file updates to their taxes and follow the IRS via its Twitter feed.

IRStoGo has had more than 350,000 downloads since its release, according to the IRS, which was one of the federal early adopters of the mobile platform.

Indeed, mobile applications are an increasingly popular way for the feds to connect with constituents, and mobility in general has become so critical to the feds that U.S. CIO Steven VanRoekel is working on a standard mobility strategy to accelerate adoption of the technology across agencies.

NASA, the White House, the FBI, the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs are among agencies and departments that also offer mobile apps.

IRS2Go is available for iPhone users on the Apple App Store, while Android users can download it from the Android Marketplace.

InformationWeek's 2012 Government IT Innovators program will feature the most innovative government IT organizations in the 2012 InformationWeek 500 issue and on InformationWeek.com. Does your organization have what it takes? The nomination period for 2012 Government IT Innovators closes April 27.

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