Jackson Hewitt is another popular tax service that now also offers an online tax preparation product. There are currently over 6,500 Jackson Hewitt Tax Service offices across the United States with locations in most major cities, including inside 2,800 Walmarts. However, to compete they now offer an online tax preparation software that people can use on their own and from home for a low price. They also provide free iPhone and Android apps that can estimate your refund, display special offers and check the status of your return.
This online tax preparation service will eFile 1040EZs and simple 1040s for free and most other types of 1040s for $26.95. If you need to claim business expenses or have self-employment income you can eFile with Jackson Hewitt for $44.95. State returns are an additional $29.95. We considered our test tax scenario to be rather typical; however, since we included one 1099-MISC for some consulting moonlighting (also rather typical in this economy) we were required to upgrade to the business version and pay the higher fee. This online tax software was able to create an accurate return with all the credits, deductions and tax obligations that we were expecting down to the dollar.
The Jackson Hewitt online service does include some convenient features such as the ability to import from other tax services, including TurboTax, H&R Block and TaxACT. This means that if you filed with one of their services last year you can import the data into Jackson Hewitt should you decide to change tax preparers. Of course, it can also import 2011 returns from last year if you filed with Jackson Hewitt. If you have been procrastinating or for some other reason are behind in filing your taxes, you can file back to 2006 by visiting a Jackson Hewitt office.
If you are owed a refund, you can choose to have your return credited to you by check, automatic deposit, prepaid debit card or as a refund anticipation loan. Check, direct deposit and prepaid cards are called Assisted Refunds and may include additional fees for quicker access to your disbursement. The Jackson Hewitt smartcard Visa is provided by MetaBank and it can be reloaded with your own money should you want to continue to use the card. This is a good option for those who do not have an account with a traditional bank. Refund anticipation loans (RALs) are not currently offered by many services and this is rumored to be the last year for Jackson Hewitt. They do not post their fees for this service online, but based on our research, RAL fees generally range from $50 to $100, which can be deducted from your refund.
The online tax software offered by Jackson Hewitt uses technology created by another established tax service; however, they offer different services, fees, guarantees and customer support so the product as a whole is quite different. We found this tax service simple to use, but if you need help you can contact them by email or read their support topics. If you need one-on-one support, they encourage you to visit one of their offices or you can call their toll-free customer service number.
Jackson Hewitt had a rocky time back in 2010, but has since quickly bounced back by filling Walmarts with their tax kiosks and by being able to provide their clients simple online tax return filing. We found their calculations to be accurate and their software suitable for those filing straightforward federal and state returns.
Jackson Hewitt can create accurate simple 1040s and is one of the few tax services that still provide refund anticipation loans should you be in dire need of your refund.
This service is not equipped to handle multi-state earnings, and they do not offer free eFiling of federal 1040s with dependants without itemized deductions.
Jackson Hewitt online tax services may not be the lowest-priced but they offer many conveniences such as prior-year import, a mobile tool and refund anticipation loans.