After H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt is the second largest tax preparing company in the United States. It claims to handle around 2.2 million returns (federal and state) on an annual basis.
Based in New Jersey, Jackson Hewitt has almost seven thousand franchise offices spread throughout the United States, but it has also worked to establish itself as an online tax prep service too.
The company was actually acquired outright by the Cendant Corp in 1998, and a revised Jackson Hewitt Tax Service was spun out of this massive merger of several related firms. One of the facets to come from this re-emerging unit was the online tax service option.
The good and bad of Jackson Hewitt Online is often seen as a 50/50 split. This is because the software is generally assumed to have been modeled on that of the competition, and then altered to make it a bit more user friendly.
While it does have some great “help me decide” guides, it does have to be noted that these are for only the most fundamental issues. Of course, it does get praise for its occupation-specific deduction discovery tools. These cover a wide array of occupations from which to choose. The guides will then walk you though the various deductions that might apply, and then input the data accordingly. This is definitely one way to take advantage of commonly overlooked deductions.
There is also a life events guide that is so similar to other software options. These are changes from year to year that could result in a substantial impact on an individual’s tax situation. The tool walks you through such things as family, education, career, home, and more. You are then guided to input any information where these situations apply, and the software distributes that accordingly.
Something that sets the Jackson Hewitt Online software apart from so many others is the retail location access. Those who use the website are also encouraged to pay a visit to the nearest office if they have further questions. Not all issues are going to require any fees, and this helps the online software to really stand apart from the crowd. Like most other companies Jackson Hewitt offers a 100% accuracy guarantee and also a biggest refund guarantee.
As already indicated, this software is not something that is considered original, or even proprietary. Rather, it is a sort of spin off from others, and it comes with a higher price tag. That can be a big turn off for many who have taken the time to shop around.
Another downside to this software is the lack of handy tools that other programs make standard. For example, the alerts that information is missing, incomplete or seemingly inaccurate are not present in this software. Thus, you can forget crucial data without even realizing it.
There is also not any sort of “meter” available. Many other tax programs feature meters that gauge how far you are in the process or how much you owe or will receive, but there are no real time meters anywhere in this program.
Finally, as already indicated, the price point on their software is a bit steep when you realize that there is not a desktop option and that it is not as feature rich as other brands.
The Bottom Line
Who should use the Jackson Hewitt Online tax service? If we were to be accurate and honest, we would have to say that it is really only an ideal option for those with less complex tax issues.
It does not do a previous year comparison, there are no guarantees for accuracy or maximum refunds, and there are no handy tools to mark incomplete data. Yes, there is support for all of the deductions, but such things as asset depreciation, charitable donations, and rental property income have no forms or tools available.
This makes it more of a tool for the simple tax returns rather than complex returns for couples or small businesses. The access to storefront support is very useful, but there are no guarantees that these visits will not require even further financial expenditure.
File your taxes online with Jackson Hewitt for free, or choose from the following options:
- $19.95 – Basic
- $34.95 – Deluxe (for parents and homeowners)
- $49.95 – Premium (for business owners and self-employed)
The price for filing state taxes is $34.95
Jackson Hewitt is TRUSTe certified.
Average Preparation Time
The time it takes an individual to prepare his/her taxes is unknown. A Jackson Hewitt professional can complete your taxes in less than an hour.
You can reach out to Jackson Hewitt in the following ways:
By phone: 1-800-234-1040
Live Chat: Live support is offered in programs to paying customers.
Jackson Hewitt provides audit support.
Time in Business
Jackson Hewitt began in 1995, 20 years ago.
File your taxes online, or with their mobile app (iOS and Android).
Jackson Hewitt has an A+ rating with the BBB.