Electronic Sales & Use Tax, Inc. – eFileSalesTax.com
Best Fit: Accounting professionals responsible for businesses with sales and use tax filing requirements in California, Florida, Illinois, or Colorado seeking an e-file solution.
- User-friendly web-based system with multi-client management tools.
- E-filing of returns to each of these states
- Bilingual forms and instructions
- Gross summary reports and PDF output
- Pay-per-use system
- Email/text filing date reminders are available
- Only four states and forms coverage is limited
- State modules don’t integrate data across multiple jurisdictions
- Client communication templates are rudimentary
eFileSalesTax.com is the only fully web-based sales and use tax preparation system in this year’s review. The software is available either by annual subscription or as a pay-per-use application. The system offers compliance tools and e-filing for businesses with reporting requirements in California, Florida, Illinois and Colorado, and each of these states’ subsidiary taxing jurisdictions. In addition to providing most of the states’ forms, alternate forms, schedules and worksheets, the solutions for California and Florida also provide Spanish-language menus.
Basic System Functions - 4.75 Stars
Users can log into the secure eFileSalesTax.com system using any standard browser, including tablets and other mobile devices with full browser access. The program then opens into a summary screen for the state version the user last used, displaying lists of returns in progress and options for starting new returns by selecting a business from a list. This multi-business entity capability eases management of compliance tasks by firms or entrepreneurs with several clients or businesses with sales and use tax reporting obligations.
Since eFileSalesTax is web-based, there is no traditional local installation, but users do need to select a subscription plan and set up an account. With the same initial login, users can quickly move to preparation tasks for other states, view completed filings, set up reminders, or customize settings. While in the California and Florida applications, a button is available to immediately change to the Spanish language layout.
When creating new returns, the user simply selects from a list of available options, and enters information such as sales data, allocations, deductions, adjustments, exemptions and other transactional data and all calculations and rates are computed by the application. Links to form information and line-by-line instructions are available during data entry. General business information, including tax identification numbers, is pre-populated and verified by synching with the state revenue department.
Compliance Capabilities - 4.5 Stars
eFileSalesTax.com offers modules for California, Colorado, Florida and Illinois, each with full support for subsidiary taxing jurisdictions within those states, and approved for use by their taxing agencies. CA forms include: 401-A, 401-EZ, 401-GS, 401-ASR, Schedules A, B, C and G, and prepayment form 1150. Florida forms include: DR-15, DR-15CS, DR-7, and DR-15SW Solid Waste Surcharge. For Illinois, eFileSalesTax.com offers forms ST-1, ST-2, PST-2, ST-1x, and ST-2x. The system also offers amended forms for these three states. The Colorado system is based on a secure web portal and Excel spreadsheet upload. If using the pay-per-return system, no charges are assessed until a return is electronically submitted to a state or is printed.
The general interfaces for each of the state modules remains consistent, although client lists and information are not available across the modules. Data entry and forms generation is simple, with the ability to choose between e-filing or printing and filing by mail, as well as online payment of collected taxes. The tax tables for all of the states are automatically maintained and updated by the vendor.
Integration/Import/Export - 4.25 Stars
Completed returns can be printed or saved to PDF, even if they were electronically filed, and are saved on the eFileSalesTax.com website for future retrieval at any time. The system offers import of sales and tax data from QuickBooks, and export into formats that can be used by trial balance and tax compliance systems. Gross summary reports and client lists are available. eFileSalesTax.com includes a email and phone text alerts tool that can be used to remind users of filing deadlines and other issues.
Help/Support - 4.5 Stars
The web-based program is easy to use and offers linked access to system help and official instructions from each data entry line, plus an FAQ and links to resources and support are available at the top of the screen. Within the California version, all of this information and form instructions are also available in Spanish. Live and web-based support are included with system pricing, including the pay-per-use model.
Executive Summary & Pricing
eFileSalesTax.com has offered online sales and use tax preparation and e-filing since 2001, and continues to expand the states and features available. The program is simple enough for small business users with only a few locations or jurisdictional issues, but with data import and export options and comprehensive forms support, is also capable of handling the compliance needs of enterprise-level entities. The CA and IL versions each cost $229 per year for unlimited filings for any number of businesses. The pay-per-use version of these two states is $7.95 per filing. The FL version costs $39 per year for a single business, $129 for consolidated filers, and multi-company version starts at $129 per year. Other plans, as well as pricing for the CO version is available upon request from the vendor.
2012 Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars