Jackson Hewitt Review

Written By Jeff Hindenach
Last updated February 21, 2019

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Personal Finance
February 21, 2019

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

With Jackson Hewitt tax software, you have the tools and information needed to quickly prepare your tax return. While there are countless tax preparation services online, Jackson Hewitt offers experienced and high-quality services, having provided tax help for millions of people each year. Here is a full overview of all that Jackson Hewitt has to offer.

Jackson Hewitt Review

Jackson Hewitt Website

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  • Price: Jackson Hewitt tax filing prices vary based on your particular needs. See packages below for specific pricing information.
  • Packages: There are several package options available, including the Free Edition, which is free for the majority of users filing with a 1040A or 1040EZ; families and retirees $69.95; small business owners and other complex tax issues $109.95.
  • State filing: Only available with the Free edition; $36.95 for every state return with all the other plans.
  • Audit protection: With this tax service, you receive basic audit assistance (which includes only information); if you need audit representation then additional fees will apply and this is only available via a Jackson Hewitt branch location.
  • Customer service: Jackson Hewitt online offers customers a support database that will cover the majority of topics that are related to your tax preparation.

Jackson Hewitt offers individuals access to three different levels of tax preparation and filing services. Each one has its own pros and cons and more information about each option can be found below.

Free Edition

The free edition of Jackson Hewitt Online is one of the very few options available today that is actually completely free. With this plan, you don’t have to pay anything to have both your federal and your state return prepared.

It’s important to note, though, that while it is free, this package is only appropriate for very simple, straightforward tax situations. The only form that is able to be completed with this particular plan is the 1040EZ IRS form. You are only able to claim the Earned Income Credit on this plan if you have no children. If you need a different option, then you will have to select one of the other packages. If you need to itemize your deductions or if you have more than $1,500 in total interest income that you need to claim, then you also must upgrade. Those who are claiming over $100,000 in total taxable income also need to upgrade.

Some of the functions and features offered by the free edition include:

  • Importing of your W-2: With the free edition you can import your W-2 into the online filing system directly, rather than having to enter all the information manually.
  • Prior year’s tax return importing: If you used Jackson Hewitt Online last year then you can import the information for your current return.
  • Phone and email support: If you need any help, at any time, then you can contact the company via email 24/7. Phone support is available during regular business hours.
  • Claim your earned income tax credit if you have no dependents: If you have dependents, then you will have to upgrade to the family and retiree plan.

Families and Retirees

If you choose this package, then you will pay $69.99 for federal filing, along with an additional $36.95 for every state return you need to file.

This particular option is ideal for anyone with moderately complex tax situations. This includes individuals who have student loan interest, or if they can claim the Earned Income Tax Credit for dependents. Much like the free plan, this is not the right option if you have over $100,0000 in taxable income.

Some of the features of this plan include:

  • Deductions for student loan interest: You can deduct student loan interest from your total taxable income, with $2,500 being the maximum amount.
  • Earned income and child tax credit: If you have a child and file the Schedule EIC claiming your dependents, then you can use this plan.
  • Retirement income: Easily claim your retirement income with this plan, which includes distributions from a 401(k) account or IRA, as well as Social Security payments, and any other sources of pay you may receive.
  • Itemized Deductions: Use a Schedule A with this plan to itemize your deductions.

Complex Returns

This plan will cost $109.99 for filing your federal return and an additional $36.95 for filing in every state.

The complex returns plan is ideal for anyone who isn’t covered by the lower-priced plans mentioned above. This typically includes those who are self-employed, or who have situations that include a small business income, rental income, capital gains, along with other less common and more complex tax issues. While the plan can help with the majority of tax situations, if this is the first time you have self-prepped, then you may want to visit an actual Jackson Hewitt office.

Keep in mind though, at the highest price point, this option will offer all the features you may want or need:

  • Investment and interest income
  • Income from real estate sales
  • Business income and deductions
  • Less common situations
  • Farming income
  • Rental property income

If you are on the fence regarding whether or not you should use Jackson Hewitt for your taxes this year, be sure to consider the information here. This is a software option that offers everything you may need for this process, at an affordable price. You should check it out if you are looking for a quality option.

About the Author

Jeff Hindenach

Jeff Hindenach is the co-founder of Simple. Thrifty. Living. He graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism. He has a long history of financial journalism, with a background writing for newspapers such as the San Jose Mercury News and San Francisco Examiner, as well as writing on personal finance for The Huffington Post, New York Times, Business Insider, CNBC, Newsday and The Street. He believes in giving readers the tools they need to get out of debt.

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