More Android Users Than iPhone Users Have Downloaded IRS Tax App

WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- Adding to the emerging research on smartphone users, the Treasury Department reported Tuesday that more Android users than iPhone users so far have employed their smartphones to check on their tax returns.

Android & iPhone Development
Online tracking data already has exposed some dividing lines among smartphone users: Apple Inc. (AAPL)'s iPhone users prefer chicken to pork ribs, which are favored by Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android users, said last fall, for example.

When it comes to checking in on their tax returns, Android users are flocking earlier to IRS2GO, the Internal Revenue Service's first mobile application, according to a report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration released Tuesday. Users can check on their tax returns and get tax tips with the program.

The Treasury report found that 178,773 Android users and 147,205 iPhone users have downloaded the app since its release on Jan. 20, 2011. Those numbers may even understate the preferences since the iPhone figure dates to May 15, while the Android figure is slightly older, from March 1.

The Treasury report found no security problems with the application, but sounded concern over the IRS's decision to use a programming language and open-source software that had not been approved when developing the application. Senior officials also never approved the application before its release, the report noted.

"The IRS is to be commended for using technology to make tax information more accessible to taxpayers," Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George said in a statement. "However, I am troubled that the IRS took some shortcuts in developing the application."

In its response to the report, IRS officials noted that rules mapping out the approval process were written 25 years ago and last updated in 2000, before the advent of mobile platforms. The tax agency said it will make sure new programs are properly screened, but are still released in a timely manner.

Source: foxbusiness

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