How to Prepare and File Taxes
One great thing about E-file.com over other tax preparation services is that the program is entirely browser driven. No need to worry about downloading and installing software. If you have a current browser, you’re good to go.
After signing up for a free account, just login to begin a return. The program will then walk you through each section starting with personal information and then continuing to income, deductions and any other relevant tax situations that apply.
One difference between E-file.com and other sites is that it’s not as intuitive as it should be. For example, we started a test filing and told it we ran a business. After asking whether we received certain forms such as a 1099, it then presented forms that it recommended we fill out. Other programs would actually begin the process.
If you want to file federal and state at the same time, E-file is a solid solution. When beginning the return, you’ll be prompted to purchase a state filing. If you don’t select a state filing when signing up, you can go back and add it at any time.
Refunds and Deductions
E-file.com makes claiming deductions and tax credits quick and easy. During the initial interview, you’ll be guided through standard credits such as mortgage interest, charitable deductions and the EIC.
If, after going through the interview, you realize a mistake was made, just go back and click on the Deductions and Credits section. There you’ll find the categories for many of the deductions normally taken each year.
Are you due a refund? E-file offers three payment methods to get your funds quickly. First, you can request to have the refund direct deposited to your personal bank account. Next, you can request to have a check mailed to your home.
Finally, you can select an e-Collect product. With e-Collect, refunds are deposited into a bank account or you can request a prepaid Visa card.
Unlike other tax preparation services, E-file.com doesn’t offer any standard extra features to their program. However, they do offer Audit Assistance for a fee of $19.95. With Audit Assistance, the company will assist you with any issue arising from your return for three years following the current filing deadline.
While this is a nice feature, many of the best tax software providers offer this service standard.
E-file.com is a completely browser driven application. No download is required to use the program. This makes it compatible with all operating systems and mobile devices.
While the site does not offer technical specification for the program, we recommend that you use the most updated version of your browser to ensure the strongest encryption and web security.
E-file offers three pricing levels depending on filing status. Free filing of federal taxes is only available if you’re filing 1040EZ. Otherwise, a paid subscription is required.
Deluxe Plus E-file is $18.99 and provides support for 1040A filers. If you have dependents, need to claim mortgage interest or are in retirement, this plan will suffice.
For those with more complex taxes, Premium Plus E-file is required. This program is $34.95 and supports all forms of credits and deductions including itemized deductions. If you need to file taxes on business or self-employment income, this program will work.
Note that regardless of which form of program is used, state filings will cost $19. E-file.com does not charge a convenience fee for filing returns. Some companies charge $20 or more file a return in addition to the fee for the software.
Payment options for E-file premium products are limited to credit or debit cards. You can also use part of your refund to pay for the service.
Support for E-file is largely DIY. They offer a wide variety of articles and a searchable help database for a large variety of questions. Note that the searchable FAQ is only available once you log into the program.
If additional support is needed, you must login to the program and fill out a help request. Phone or live chat support is presently not available, even to premium subscribers.
For average Americans filing a 1040EZ, E-file.com is a perfect fit. If you need to file itemized deductions or self-employment taxes, E-file Premium may work for you, but be prepared to do everything yourself.
While there are other programs with more features, E-file.com provides everything you need to file simple returns. Why pay $40 or more, including “convenience fees”, for filing for a refund when it can be done on E-file.com for free?