The efilesalestax.com system is fully web-based, providing an after-the-fact
sales tax reporting and electronic funds remittance program for use either by
accounting and tax professionals or directly by businesses with transaction
tax compliance requirements in California, Florida and Illinois. Each state
version of the system provides compliance support for all subsidiary taxing
entities, including city, county and special jurisdictions. The California and
Illinois programs are use-based, with each filing costing $6.95, and discounts
available for prepaid filings. An unlimited filing version of the California
and Illinois software is $199 per year, which is likely the best option for
professional firms servicing multiple clients in those states. Pricing for the
Florida product is $29 per year for single taxpayers, and tax professionals
filing for multiple clients starts at $99 per year for five clients. Additional
Florida clients can be added for $20 per five-pack.
Navigation & Data Entry — 4.5 Stars
The program is accessed via the user’s web browser, opening to a very
user-friendly interface that can be viewed in either English or Spanish. It
provides primarily text-based links to the program’s key functions, such
as accessing previous Completed Filings, Settings, Purchase, Reminders, FAQs,
Support, Resources and Help. After initially logging in and selecting the state
with which to work, the initial entry screen displays any returns in process
by the user, but which have not yet been completed, as well as options for starting
new returns or sales tax prepayment of program usage fees (if not using the
unlimited version). Returns in progress are displayed in a table format that
shows the state sales tax account number, form type, filing period, taxpayer
name and when the report was last updated.
To start a new return, the user selects the business entity from a basic list
and then chooses which form type to prepare. For California, this includes electronically
filing 401-EZ, 401-A with Schedule A or T, or sales tax prepayment form 1150.
A paper filing option is available for those needing 401-A with Schedules A,
B and C. The Florida version offers forms DR-15, DR-7, DR-15CS consolidated,
and DR-15SW Solid Waste, while the Illinois version supports sales tax forms
ST-1 and ST-2.
During initial entry of form data, the system automatically fills in paid preparer
information based on the user profile. It then opens the actual financial data
collection screen, with access to line-by-line filing instructions. After entering
deductions and allocating gross sales among taxation districts, the program
computes the appropriate taxes and displays a breakdown per taxing entity (state,
city, county). Financial data can also be imported from QuickBooks.
Prior to submitting the electronic form and payment authorization to the state
tax department, the system prompts the user to ensure that they really want
to proceed. And that’s about the whole program — simple and easy-to-use
for entities with few locations and tax liabilities. The eFileSalesTax system
also includes a Reminder function that alerts the user via e-mail to pending
filing dates, and the Florida version includes a cover letter feature for client
Filing, Electronic Compliance & Payment – 4.5 Stars
While the program is built up as an electronic sales tax filing and remittance
tool, it can also be used to print fileable versions of many of the tax reports.
The program is fully compliant with the taxing entities in each of the states
it supports, providing both filing and electronic funds transfer, with the ability
to delay actual payment until a specified date. Reports can be saved to PDF
Rate Updates – 5 Stars
Rate tables in the online system are automatically maintained by staff at eFileSalesTax.com,
thus requiring no action by users.
Help/Training – 4 Stars
The data-entry forms provide line-by-line instructions, and Help features are
easily accessible. The company offers online FAQs, tutorials, information on
amnesty and many other topics, and unlimited technical support is included with
Relative Value – 4 Stars
As far as after-the-fact sales and use tax reporting systems go, eFileSalesTax.com
offers a wonderfully simple utility that enables users to file a return in minutes,
with the return and remittance handled electronically. The program is geared
toward use by businesses of all sizes and professionals serving client businesses
whose primary reporting needs are in California, Florida or Illinois.
2008 Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars