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.
- Mid tier tax software with mid tier pricing
- Free Federal, no free State options
- Dedicated tax support during tax season
Starts at $0
$21 per State
E-File.com Review Video
E-File.com - Is It Really Free?
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.
Dependents, income up to $100k, mortgage interest, retirement income
Everyone else (HSA, business income, all other deductions, etc.)
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.
E-File Ease Of Use
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 Knowledge Articles
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.
Can E-File.com Help Me With Crypto Investments?
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.
Who Should Use E-File 2019-2020?
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).
- Navigation - 70
- Ease of Use - 70
- Features and Options - 75
- Customer Service - 90
- Plans and Pricing - 70
E-File offers middle of the road tax software that has decent prices.
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here and here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.