Tips for using the TurboTax website and iOS app as a blind user

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iOS & iPadOS

Hello everyone

I manage product accessibility at Intuit and have been working with the TurboTax team to make the web site and apps accessible. I wanted to give you some tips for this year's taxes.

TurboTax Online and TurboTax iOS should give you a great, accessible experience. I haven't found any serious bugs in the past few releases. That being said, I always appreciate feedback: ted_drake@intuit.com.

On iOS, you may find it easier to use touch navigation than swiping across the app. Most of the screens are pretty simple and I've found touch navigation is much quicker. 

TurboTax synchronizes your tax flow between the web and mobile experience. You can use whichever device is most convenient at any time. 

TurboTax mobile allows you to photograph your W2 form and it will automatically enter your details into the tax form. This does require some vision to center the the tax form within the camera's viewport. We are working on methods to announce framing and focus via VoiceOver.  (Update: Voiceover announces simple tips, such as "hold stead" or "move closer" - April 2021)

If you have a simple return, such as a single W2 and plan on taking the basic deduction, try to apply while we are still offering Absolute Zero. This means your federal and state taxes are completely free. Start as a free filer and it will suggest an upgrade when your return becomes complex. 

The TurboTax application uses a swipe gesture to move back and forth between the screens. For VoiceOver users, there are continue and back buttons at the bottom of each screen. In the rare occurrence that you come across a screen without navigation buttons, you may need to use the iOS drag gesture to swipe left or right (single finger tap 2 times and hold - drag left for continue, right for going back). (Update: This custom gesture was removed and everyone has continue/back buttons on each screen - April 2021)

The TurboTax blog has several articles about tax deductions and adjustments for people vision and other disabilities:

Keep track of your donations throughout the year with Its Deductible . This app is very accessible and makes it super easy to track your donations. It then seamlessly downloads your deductions into TurboTax.

Mint helps you manage your personal finances. It also makes it easy to import your bank and investment documents into TurboTax.

We've also been working hard this year to make Benefits Assist accessible. Check it out during your TurboTax filing. It checks to see if you are eligible for additional benefits from the government, such as food, heat, and health subsidies. (Update: Benefits Assist is no longer available - April 2021)

I have also tested the desktop applications, but I find the navigation is easier with the online and mobile experience. 

The TurboTax team has been working very hard this year and I'm proud of what they've done to make it accessible for all users.  I also want to thank the AppleVis team for their advice on posting these suggestions.

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Comments

Submitted by Ted Drake on Monday, April 12, 2021

I recently received an email from an AppleVis reader for an update on TurboTax. I've added some comments in the above post. But here's a summary.
  • The TurboTax app for iOS has improved in accessibility since 2016.
  • It no longer uses a custom gesture for navigation and all screens use basic continue and back buttons.
  • The W2 capture process now includes simple guides from VoiceOver, such as move closer or hold steady.
  • While we no longer have Benefits Assist, which suggested government aid programs, TurboTax does provide tools to help with COVID-19 benefits.
TurboTax also provides assisted tax prep to have an account review or do all of your taxes. The TurboTax Live functionality works with VoiceOver. Thank you for your continued support and we're always interested in your feedback: accessibility-feedback@intuit.com

Submitted by Portland Chris on Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Club AppleVis Member

I have used TurboTax for the past six years now, and it was pretty accessible, but based on your comments above, it has gotten even better. I am done with taxes for this year, but will try doing it completely by myself next year again since it sounds like you have worked on ironing out the issues that prevented me from doing the whole thing independently a few years ago. Thank you for updating us on your efforts, and continuing to work so hard to make it all accessible. I love the feeling of being empowered to take care of my taxes myself again, like I did when I had useable vision years ago. Much appreciated.

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