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  • eFile offers three low-cost plans for preparing a tax return, including a $ 0 federal return option.
  • The platform is completely do-it-yourself; there is no option to hire a tax professional.
  • eFile is best for people who need top tier TurboTax and H&R Block products but don’t want to pay a lot.
  • Check Out Personal Finance Insider’s Choices For The Best Tax Software

Tax software has only one job: to help you prepare and file your tax return accurately.

To this end, eFile gets the job done for less than TurboTax or H&R Block. Its menu of services is slimmer and more streamlined than the heavyweights in the industry, making the platform less overwhelming. While it does include a free option for federal returns, there are some notable limitations.

If you know you won’t need the hands-on help of a CPA to prepare your personal tax return, eFile Worth to be considered.

Here’s a look at how eFile works, how much it costs, and who is the best fit.

If you value affordability and are confident in your tax knowledge, eFile is a good option for preparing your tax return.

It covers the same tax situations as TurboTax and H&R Block for a fraction of the cost. But of course there are tradeoffs. The lower cost translates into less cool features, such as expert access, time-saving document downloads, and a modern interface.

Filers who know they should pay for higher level TurboTax or H&R Block products i.e. have itemized deductions or self-employment income, for example, will save money with eFile.

eFile offers three DIY plans online. Its higher level offer is cheaper than both TurboTax and H&R Block’s lowest tier offer when you don’t consider free plans.

Like other software vendors, eFile allows you to create an account and start preparing your return for free that you don’t pay until you file. But unlike its competitors, eFile won’t force you to choose a specific package from the start; As you add different tax forms, the platform will decide which package suits your needs so that you never pay too much.

Cost of DIY options and what they cover …

  • Free Basic: $ 0. You can use the free plan if you have W-2 taxable income or unemployment income less than $ 100,000. You will need to upgrade if you have investment income, self-employed income, or want to claim anything other than the earned income tax credit. This plan only supports single and joint filing statuses.
  • Deluxe: $ 39.95. If you have dependents, a mortgage, or retirement income, you’ll use Deluxe. But your taxable income must always be less than $ 100,000.
  • First: $ 49.95. This plan is for anyone with taxable income of $ 100,000 or more, regardless of source, including trusts and business partnerships.

Additional charges will apply if …

  • You need a state filing. eFile charges $ 28 for unlimited status returns, even if you qualify for the free basic plan. Many competitors charge a higher fee for each return.

eFile prides itself on providing affordable, fast and easy-to-use software for filing your tax returns online. All you have to do is create an account and you are on your way. However, it does not allow downloading of documents to speed up the data entry process. This feature is available from H&R Block and TurboTax and can save you a lot of time if you have income from multiple sources.

Like other platforms, eFile uses a guided question-and-answer format to help you complete your return. You can also access different shapes if you know what you are looking for. If you want to stop at any time, everything entered up to that point will be saved.

A bonus: eFile’s approach to taxation is lighter than that of its competitors (think: songs and videos to help you “de-stress”).

eFile is a safe and reliable website for the preparation of personal income taxes that is authorized by the IRS.

It protects your information through data encryption. It also requires multi-factor authentication every time you log in to verify your identity.

If affordability is your primary concern, you will find a better deal through Credit Karma or FreeTaxUSA if you have a complicated return.

eFile doesn’t offer a lot of customer support. There are no options to speak directly with a tax professional, either by phone or video chat, even at an additional cost. The only way to get in touch with an expert is by email, and it can take days to get a response.

It should also be noted that eFile did not create an app and the website is not very mobile friendly. If you want to use your phone to record on the go, eFile isn’t the most convenient option.

Laura Grace Tarpley contributed reporting.

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