e-File is the newest entrant into the tax software preparation space. The cost is half the price of many comparable programs, but it has limited explanations and help if you have questions. Features include:
- Editor’s Choice: Best Value
- Free tax filing if you meet certain criteria
- Inexpensive resource for simple returns or experienced filers looking for a bargain
- Simpler design and functionality
If you’re a veteran tax-filer who knows how to navigate the various tax forms, tax deductions and credits, this is the program for you. The program doesn’t offer a question-and-answer format for inputting your information and offers minimal guidance or support. Simply, e-File is a tax software best geared toward extremely simple returns or those who are experienced with filing their taxes and do not need assistance preparing their returns. Read our full e-File review to see if this is the best tax software for your needs.
e-File is a company based in Virginia. It has provided its tax software for sale since 2014. The tax software does not come equipped with the bells and whistles seen on the more-established companies’ programs. Instead, e-File offers a stripped-down experience with a lower cost. In 4 years, e-File has been used by over a million taxpayers.
Our e-File review will go over some of the top pros of choosing this software:
- Deduction comparison: After completing your tax deductions on the federal return, the software shows how you compare to the national averages on popular tax deductions. This information can be useful for determining if you fall too far from the averages. If you’re too far from the averages, you know to look for possible errors.
- Free filing available: The software offers a free federal return product for some people. To qualify, you must earn under $100,000, be younger than 65, and be single or married, filing jointly with no dependents.
- Great budget option: This program is particularly cost-effective if you meet the restrictive criteria for its free product. However, the premium product only costs $45.99, less than half the costliest TurboTax product.
There are also some cons you should be aware of as you read our e-File review:
- No phone support: Currently, the tax software offers no phone support to give you help if you have any questions. You can attempt to contact the company through e-mail with your questions. However, this isn’t the same as talking directly to a human with an immediate response.
- Not suited for complicated returns and those with limited return experience: e-File is best suited for basic tax returns or people who are experienced with taxes. Because of the simplicity and low-level support, you won’t have much help if you need it.
- Simple design and functionality: The software design is similar to TaxSlayer’s interface except it offers no video support or thorough explanations. The limited guidance and explanations provided aren’t intuitive, another reason that this software is not the best for people who aren’t experienced filing taxes.
Shows Final Calculation by Return Schedule
After you’ve made it through the process of inputting your information into the return, e-File allows you to review all of your deductions and credits claimed by schedule. The feature shows these through a dropdown window to do a final check of all the claims you’ve made on your tax return.
We haven’t come across this feature on any other budget tax software. It is a nice feature to see the primary drivers for why you owe more or why you’ll receive a refund.
Advanced users will find the software’s deduction groupings useful. The software offers self-guided navigation through your deductions and credits, showing them on the side of the screen. The topics covered help users decide whether a section applies to them or not.
If it doesn’t apply to you, the tax software will move you to the next part of the guide to see if you qualify for any other deduction groupings.
E-File Knowledge Articles
e-File offers simplicity and a sparse user experience compared to other products. However, it does offer E-File Knowledge Articles to explain items you’re encountering on your tax return. The user can click on question marks for explanations of the items being asked.
These knowledge articles also simplify the tax jargon used. This helps most users be able to input the correct information.More Details
Pay With Your Refund
Like many other tax software products, e-File lets you pay for the software you choose with your tax refund.
Many people like this option because they don’t have to worry about an upfront payment coming from their debit or credit card.
Import Previous Year’s Refund
If you used e-File last year, you can import your tax return. This automatically fills in several fields for you, saving you time.
If you did last year’s taxes with another software, you won’t be able to input your return.
e-File Review Conclusion
Driven primarily by its price, many taxpayers would choose this product because of its value, particularly if you are eligible to use the program to file for free. Even if you have to pay for it, the software offers a bare-bones program to file your tax returns.
The lower cost means little help during the filing process, making e-File a tax software best geared toward extremely simple returns or those who are experienced with filing their taxes and do not need assistance preparing their returns. If those descriptions fit you, give e-File a try.