E-File.com offers a decent question and answer style user interface, but the software continued to have drawbacks that made it tough to recommend in 2020.In particular, the tax jargon and lack of importing options left testers feeling overwhelmed. Its unlikely that you’re a good candidate for E-File.com in 2020, here’s why.We review the pros and cons in our E-File.com review, so you can decide whether the software service worth considering for your 2019-2020 filing. Check out how they compare here: The Best Tax Software.
E-File.com isn’t free if you have to file a state tax return. The so-called Free edition has a $21 fee for state filers.Even if you don’t have a state tax return, the free edition is unlikely to work for you. It does not allow you to claim any income except W-2 income. Plus, you cannot claim HSA or student loan income deductions. You can’t even claim deductions associated with kids for free.
E-File.com has three pricing tiers.In addition to the “Free” pricing tier, there is a Deluxe tier which has very limited capacity and the Premium tier which allows full access to most major filing forms.Note that E-File did raise their prices going into 2019-2020.
E-File.com offers two forms of navigation. The “traditional” version means that users have to navigate to appropriate sections on their own. If you’re an experienced filer, this navigation method may be preferable for you.E-File.com also allows users to opt for a more guided version of the software. I would call this light guidance because you’ll still have to go back through the software to determine whether you’ve missed something.Overall, the E-File.com interface is intuitive to navigate for experienced filers, but it’s nowhere near as helpful as H&R Block, TaxSlayer or TurboTax for less experienced filers.
E-File.com has helpful built-in calculators, which make it possible for users to deal with complex situations. But the calculators have a drawback. You need to know tax jargon to appropriately enter most information. Less experienced filers may unwittingly make an error.In a few places, E-File has built in logic to help you catch errors. Whenever E-File.com catches an error it surfaces a message includes detail descriptions of the tax rules. However, a lot of these error messages could be avoided if E-File.com would be much easier to use if you could simply import documents.Another drawback to E-File.com is the volume of information on each screen. Users may have to manually enter dozens of numbers on a single screen which make it possible to
E-File.com includes a few “Learn More” buttons throughout the software. These buttons have short articles that explain some of the more complicated aspects of tax law. It also has a library of knowledge articles available through the search function.
E-File.com allows users to send tax questions via email to qualified representatives. You do not pay extra for this service.
E-File.com did not specifically ask about virtual currency investments at the start of the filing process. However, it has a knowledge article that explains how to enter your gains and trades in the appropriate schedules.
In 2020, E-File.com offers middle of the road pricing for most customers, but the software doesn’t justify the price.It’s hard to recommend the software to anyone in particular because bargain software systems (like FreeTaxUSA and others) offer better value. If you want the best value for mid-tier pricing, I strongly recommend TaxSlayer Premium. Or, if you qualify, check out H&R Block’s Free Edition (free for HSA, dependents and student loan interest).