Jackson Hewitt Review | Free Filing and Tax Prep Resources

The military often comes with complex tax situations, and Jackson Hewitt is well equipped to walk you through them with ease.
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Jackson Hewitt helps millions of people with their taxes every year.

They have many storefronts throughout the country occupied by tax professionals who can both prepare and file taxes for anyone. Jackson Hewitt also offers an online filing service that can walk taxpayers through the preparation process.

Tax years 2016 and 2017 saw significant changes for Jackson Hewitt’s services. They offer online services for many different circumstances including business owners, investments, and itemized deductions.

They have a variety of packages to choose from and even offer a free version. It’s worth taking a look at their new plans and services to determine whether this company is right for you.

Jackson Hewitt Review: Key Features

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Jackson Hewitt comes with a suite of features provides individuals with everything they need to do their taxes on their own or enlist the help of a tax professional. The following are just some of the great services that Jackson Hewitt provides.

Automatic Upgrades

If you’re preparing your own taxes online, you can always upgrade your package to accommodate for deductions and other special circumstances you may not have accounted for previously.

Jackson Hewitt will automatically perform the upgrade for you, so you don’t have to worry about navigating away from the screen and losing your information.

Seamless Interface

Jackson Hewitt Online has a beautiful user interface that is easy to navigate. If you prefer to do your entire tax return from start to finish, it will walk you through the process with prompts.

If you need to come back and finish parts of it later, or if you prefer to jump back and forth between sections, each section is clearly labeled.

You have the flexibility to prepare your return in any way you’d like. When you’re ready to submit your return, Jackson Hewitt will prompt you to complete any sections you may have forgotten before you file.

Mobile-Friendly Forms

Preparing your tax return online has never been easier. The large text, smooth interface, and big fields make it mobile friendly as well, so you can pop into your account on the phone if you need to make a quick update or continue your return on the move.

As more complex returns may require additional assistance, the online forms give you convenient options.

Maximum Refund and Accuracy Guarantee

The best online tax software platforms a maximum refund guarantee, including Jackson Hewitt. However, they also offer an accuracy guarantee, ensuring that your tax return was prepared correctly.

If you are subject to a tax penalty from the IRS due to a calculation error on Jackson Hewitt’s part, they’ll issue a full refund.

Tax Calculators

Jackson Hewitt offers users a general calculator that can measure tax liability as well as calculators for Earned Income Tax Credits and self-employment tax calculators that can help you determine whether you’re eligible or subject to additional refunds and fees.

Pricing Plans

Jackson Hewitt offers three different plans for their online product. Review the inclusions carefully and select the correct product to save yourself from unnecessary upgrades.

Free Plan

The Jackson Hewitt Online free version is always 100% free. You won’t have to pay anything to prepare your state or federal return. If you have a simple tax situation, this plan is perfect for you.

If you have children, can claim over $1,500 in interest, or you are claiming more than $100,000 in income, you will have to upgrade.

However, the free plan is easy to use with W-2 importing, prior year return importing, and email and phone support.

File your taxes for free with Jackson Hewitt>>

Family and Retiree Plan

The family and retiree plan costs $29.99 to prepare a federal return and $36.95 for each state return. It’s excellent for filers who have student loan interest or dependents. However, you still can’t use it if you are claiming over $100,000 in income.

The middle plan comes with everything in the free plan, plus it allows you to deduct student loan interest, claim earned income and child tax credits, file retirement income, and itemize your deductions.

Complex Returns

Jackson Hewitt charges $49.99 for a complex federal return and $36.95 for each state return. Compared to in-person services, this online plan is a huge bargain. If you’re not covered by the two other pricing plans, you’ll most likely get along just fine with this one.

If you are self-employed, need to record small business income, rental income, capital gains, or have more complicated tax situations, you need the features this plan offers.

If this is the first time you’ve filed taxes on your own, you may want to seek professional help before using the tool.

This plan has everything in the lower-priced plans, plus it covers investment and interest income, income from real estate sales, business income and deductions, rental property income, farming income, and other less common situations.

The Good

Jackson Hewitt offers some superior benefits along with all its other great features. Some of our favorite benefits are below.

Pros

Completely Free Returns: Some other tax preparation services are misleading when they say they offer free returns. They may mean they offer free preparation services and then charge you to file. Alternatively, they may offer free federal returns and charge for state returns. The Jackson Hewitt Online free version is always 100% free, no matter what.

Branch Access: If at any time during your tax document preparation, you struggle with questions, you can visit any of Jackson Hewitt’s physical branches for help. The process for switching from online to the office is easy and seamless.

Help Database: Jackson Hewitt has a huge online database offering frequently asked questions, guides, tutorials, and other helpful tools. If you need help filing your taxes but don’t want to drive to an office or pick up the phone, try their extensive help database first.

Email and Phone Support: If you can’t find what you need on the help database, Jackson Hewitt representatives will be happy to answer your questions through email over the phone. You can reach them during business hours for assistance with your online forms.

The Bad

There are always disadvantages to anything you do, and Jackson Hewitt has a few.

Cons

The lower-priced plans have limited capabilities, but that’s generally the way it is with all tax preparation and filing services.

Their free plan only accommodates the simplest situations, so most people will need the upgrade. Jackson Hewitt also doesn’t offer imports for your previous year returns from competitors.

If you did your taxes using a different program last year, Jackson Hewitt can’t import it for you.  However, they make it easy to fill it out manually by guiding you through each field and explaining what you need to input.

The Bottom Line

Jackson Hewitt offers cost-effective online tax preparation and filing services for almost any filer with email and phone support as well as physical branch access for answers to questions.

Their network of physical locations covers the entire country, so if you do have trouble with the user-friendly online software or their extensive features, help is not far.

The military often comes with complex tax situations, and Jackson Hewitt is well equipped to walk you through them with ease.

Start filing with Jackson Hewitt>>

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About Ryan Guina

Ryan Guina is The Military Wallet's founder. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over six years on active duty in the USAF and is a current member of the Illinois Air National Guard.

Ryan started The Military Wallet in 2007 after separating from active duty military service and has been writing about financial, small business, and military benefits topics since then. He also writes about personal finance and investing at Cash Money Life.

Ryan uses Personal Capital to track and manage his finances. Personal Capital is a free software program that allows him to track his net worth, balance his investment portfolio, track his income and expenses, and much more. You can open a free Personal Capital account here.

Featured In: Ryan's writing has been featured in the following publications: Forbes, Military.com, US News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, Reserve & National Guard Magazine (print and online editions), Military Influencer Magazine, Cash Money Life, The Military Guide, USAA, Go Banking Rates, and many other publications.

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