E-file.com E-file.com
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3 5stars

E-file.com Review

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Rating:
Bottom Line:
Limited support and simplistic interface make it less competitive; good option for simple filers and those who don't need audit support

Full Review:
[Editor's Note: E-file.com is currently offering 24% off its tax plans for NextAdvisor users. Just click on the Sign up for E-file.com links and enter the code SAVE24 at checkout to take advantage of this deal.]

With its rather minimalistic presence, E-file.com is a service that doesn’t quite stack up to its competitors. While it is cheaper than most of the top names like TurboTax and H&R Block and may be a good option for filers with a basic tax return, some users may find E-file.com to be run-of-the-mill, as its customer service is lacking and audit protection is an add-on.


Pricing

E-file.com’s pricing is fairly straightforward. It offers three plans — Free, Deluxe for $18.99 and Premium for $34.95. The Free edition supports single and joint filing without dependents. Deluxe expands to include filing with dependents as well as multiple groups of deductions and the 1040A schedule. Lastly, the Premium edition includes all deductions possible on a filed return. State returns for all packages cost an additional $19.


Interface

E-file.com’s interface and overall site design are rather bland, with large amounts of white space and a small menu to guide you through the filing process. That said, the functionality of the interface is pretty solid and user-friendly. Something we found especially helpful is that E-file.com asks questions to help determine which specific forms you need to fill out. From there, however, there are no more truly unique features — you’re simply just filling out the forms E-file.com has designated. In this regard, E-file.com is a no nonsense, straightforward service, but for those expecting more help from the interface, other services like TurboTax provide a more consistent experience.



Support

We felt that support from E-file.com was lacking in several regards. First, E-file.com only offers support via email ticket, and the default support request topics are extremely limited — ranging from “question regarding my return” to “refund status” to “login problems.” The inability to speak to someone via phone or online chat could make the filing process quite frustrating should you run into a problem. E-file.com claims this is done in order to keep costs low, but even FreeTaxUSA, the cheapest service we review, offers both live chat and email support.

That said, E-file.com’s email support is available 24/7, meaning your email tickets can be answered at any time. We sent in a ticket around 5 p.m. PT and got a reply within six minutes, which was pretty impressive. We sent another follow-up email 20 minutes later and got another response within 10 minutes. This was ultimately one of the quickest and most thorough support responses we've gotten. Furthermore, E-file.com does have tax professionals on staff, meaning you can ask more complex questions. However, keep in mind, response times will vary based on the complexity of your problem.

Aside from email support, E-file.com offers additional assistance through an FAQ section and a searchable knowledge base, as well as articles that discuss at length various tax-related issues and problems. We found these to be well-written and thorough; however, not every customer will have to time to read through such lengthy material in order to find help. It’d be a lot more helpful if E-file.com had a more traditional support structure like those of most services.

E-file.com provides optional Audit Assistance for $19.95 which ensures that the service will communicate with the IRS on your behalf, if necessary. While this is good to have, the price tag might seem relatively pricey when you consider that other services like H&R Block and TurboTax offer aspects of this feature for free as a part of their guarantees. That said, compared some of E-file.com's other competitors, its Audit Assistance is a pretty good deal.


Conclusion

E-file.com isn’t terrible, but the service can feel somewhat bare-bones. While its prices are among the lowest and its site is easy-to-use, its earnest and helpful support team is accessible via email only which might be a turn-off. However, if you're able to look past that, support is available 24/7 and tax professionals are on staff. It’s possible that this may not pose an issue for those who are filing simple returns like the 1040EZ or early filers who simply require limited or non-urgent support.

Sign up for E-file.com | Compare to Other Online Tax Preparation

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Service Details

Online Federal Tax Products:Free Federal: Free
Deluxe: $18.99
Premium: $34.95

*prices include 24% discount
Federal Only Fees:Free if filing simple returns, otherwise $18.99-$34.95
State Only Fees:$19 for everyone
Support Options:24/7 access via mail support ticket only
Audit Protection:Available for an additional fee of $19.95

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