Summary: E-file Online Tax Software Review
E-file.com features a cloud-based personal income tax software that lets you file state and federal taxes online. Established in Florida in 2011, E-file.com is a relatively new company, but it provides a few of the most affordable tax preparation products on the market.
Offering three distinct software editions, E-file aims to make filing much simpler and easier by guiding taxpayers through a step-by-step tutorial and presenting clear, straightforward questions. Read on to discover how the program works, the different versions available, E-file.com reviews, and the software’s pricing structure.
Image Source: E-file Online Tax Software
How the E-file Online Tax Software Works
E-file simplifies the filing process and guides you from beginning to end. The software ensures that your return is prepared accurately, and any due refund is deposited to your bank account. The program is updated on tax law changes every year.
E-file.com translates complex IRS jargon into layman’s terms to create easily digestible questions and uses your answers to fill out all required forms. The E-file tax software shows the sum of potential refunds or due payments and displays instructions for a convenient filing experience.
Help articles are available on the website, so taxpayers can learn more about filing returns. The site also has a list of all required documents for completing returns. If you encounter any difficulty while using the E-file program, you may contact customer support by completing the web form or sending an email.
E-file.com allows you to save your progress and sign in later to finish entering all necessary information. After successfully filing your return, you can download a PDF copy of the return without extra charges. In addition to state and federal tax filing, E-file provides software to help taxpayers file an extension if needed.
E-file.com guarantees that all calculations are accurate and free of errors, ensuring you never overpay or submit erroneous details. Tax professionals review returns to spot common mistakes before sending them to the state and the IRS.
However, E-file is designed only as a personal income tax software. This program is not a viable option if you need comprehensive business tax software.
Features of the E-file.com Tax Software
Fast, no-nonsense, hassle-free filing is the main advantage E-file.com offers to taxpayers. Here are the key features of this online tool:
- Gives you the ability to file taxes in as fast as 15 minutes: After creating your account on the website, you simply have to provide your taxpayer information and answer simple questions; E-file will do the rest for you.
- Lets you obtain your refund in the fastest time possible: E-file streamlines the filing process by taking advantage of the IRS’s electronic filing program, which makes it effortless to file online with the IRS. You may choose to receive your refund through direct deposit to your bank and get your refund within days.
- Provides free federal tax returns if you’re eligible for a 1040EZ: This involves free filing if you qualify.
- Offers free qualified tax support: E-file.com has a team of customer support representatives who are ready to answer your queries online through a ticketing system. Expert personnel will answer questions within minutes. To ask help from experts, just send a “help” request. However, the company doesn’t offer telephone support to minimize costs and to continue offering affordable software.
- Uses Extended Validation 256 bit encryption technology for safe filing: This is the industry benchmark used by most tax preparation service providers to file returns securely.
- Lets you file your extension online: If you need to get an extension for tax filing, E-file allows you to do so. The program provides an acceptance confirmation number from the IRS as soon as it's available.
- Enables you to pay using part of your refund: E-file.com lets you pay using a credit or debit card. Alternatively, you may use part of your refund, especially if you don’t have a credit card or don’t want to pay any upfront fees. The firm partners with EPS Financial to allow customers to set up direct deposit for their refund.
Cloud-Based Program vs. Desktop Software
Basically, desktop and cloud-based tax programs give you the same ability to file your taxes electronically. Nonetheless, E-file.com emphasizes that desktop programs have usage limitations. Below are comparisons between desktop and cloud-based tax software.
- Compatibility: Some desktop programs are not compatible with certain operating systems, whereas cloud-based programs are easily accessible from a Web browser, whether you’re using a Windows, Mac, or another operating system.
- Portability: A desktop tax program lets you access your return only on the computer where you installed it. A cloud-based software lets you view your return from your Web-enabled laptop, smartphone, or tablet on the go.
- Download: Desktop programs need to be downloaded and installed to your computer; they also require constant updates. In comparison, cloud-based programs only require a Web browser and an Internet connection, and they are automatically kept updated with applicable tax law changes.
- Backup on Secure Servers: E-file.com automatically backs up filed returns to ensure they are always available. Using a desktop tax software without backing up your return poses the risk of losing the file if sudden computer system failure occurs.
How to Use the E-file Online Tax Software
Step 1: Create an account.
Click Sign Up Free on the upper-right corner on the website. The signup process requires an email address, username, and password.
Step 2: Provide taxpayer information.
After creating your account, enter your taxpayer details, income information, and available deductions. The software asks simple questions to help you fill out your return more quickly. Afterward, E-file.com does all the math needed and quickly prepares your tax return.
Step 3: Choose your filing method.
After preparing your return, E-file lets you decide whether you’d like to file online or print and mail the return. Electronic filing is the favored option among tax return filers.
E-file.com Tax Software Editions
Free Federal E-file
This software edition is available for free, like other tax programs. It comes with free federal e-filing, speedy tax refund, single and joint filing without dependents, and full filing support. If you’re married but don’t have children yet or if you’re single, the Free Federal E-file software is sufficient for filing your tax return. An E-file.com review explains that the program serves its purpose well when it comes to basic filing needs.
Deluxe Plus E-file
This version includes filing with dependents, mortgage interest deduction, Form 1040A support, and retirement income support. The Deluxe Plus version is a good choice for married couples with children and home property.
Premium Plus E-file
As the most expensive edition among the three, this version supports all deductions and credits. It also supports itemized tax deductions and provides the necessary forms for claiming small business and 1099 income. The Premium Plus program is designed for more complex returns involving business and personal income.
All of these editions require you to pay an additional fee for state filing. E-file.com gives you the option to start for free, so you can get the hang of how things work and evaluate if the software is an easy-to-use tool for you.
E-file lets you calculate your return before deciding to buy. You’ll have to make a purchase once your return is completely prepared and you’re ready to use the software to file your return.
E-file Reviews and Feedback
Most expert reviewers agree that E-file isn’t quite on par with top-rated competitors. Still, when talking about low-cost pricing, the program is hard to match. Here are the major points mentioned in E-file.com reviews:
- Telephone support: While E-file claims that its professional filing experts promptly respond to queries within minutes, the lack of dedicated telephone support is still a dismal disadvantage. Many consumers prefer to talk to customer support over the phone rather than send a ticket or email. An E-file.com review states that phone support is a crucial part of using a tax software.
- Ease of Use: A few E-file reviews note that the software is a bit harder to use than expected. First-time e-filers who are not aware of the information required might get confused while using the software. However, another E-file.com review reports that the program features a solid interface that’s fairly easy to navigate.
- Design: Some users point out that the software design isn’t conducive to producing accurate returns. New users may find it difficult to know which in-text links to click on to find certain sections, or they may not be aware at all about the links. Other E-file reviews say that the software has a minimalist design that is user-friendly and quite functional.
E-file Tax Software Pricing
E-file offers inexpensive programs that are almost half the prices of other software, giving you the potential to save up to 50 percent on your tax filing. The company explains that other programs have exorbitant prices due to the costs related to producing and distributing CD-based software.
The final price of a CD-based software takes into account the costs of packaging materials and marketing activities. On the other hand, cloud-based programs without CD-based software, such as the E-file.com tax software, don’t involve production or excessive marketing costs, making them much cheaper than competitors. Some E-file.com reviews immensely appreciate the huge savings the users made when they switched to E-file.
Image Source: E-file Online Tax Software
While it appears that E-file’s prices are considerably lower, take note that a discount has been applied to the regular prices. Make sure to use the applicable coupon code to avail of the discount if you plan to purchase any of the software’s edition.
Conclusion: Is E-file the Right Tax Software for You?
Overall, E-file.com is an adequate option if you’re looking for affordable personal tax income software and you’re confident with your e-filing capability. Its simplistic design is best recommended for taxpayers who need to file basic tax returns, such as the 1040EZ, and those who want a straightforward filing service.
However, if you’re not sure you can prepare tax returns accurately and you’re going to need much help with e-filing, you may want to consider a tax program that offers more tax assistance as well as dedicated telephone support. E-file lets you start for free and requires you to pay only when you’re ready to file, so take advantage of the free initial use to determine if the program is user-friendly, reliable, and functional for you.
AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:
Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.
Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.