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Completing out tax forms and making payments (or getting refunds) shouldn’t cost a lot of time and money. Filing your taxes online could give you a better option than hiring an expensive professional or filling out documents by hand. Luckily, you have plenty of software options to make the job easier. Narrow your options by comparing TaxAct and Jackson Hewitt. You might find that one of them sounds like the better choice for you.
TaxAct and Jackson Hewitt operate in a highly competitive industry. They stand out as two of the best options for doing your taxes with minimal assistance from a professional. No online tax service could survive without giving users easy instructions. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should choose one without comparing them.
TaxAct and Jackson Hewitt will let you start using their products before committing to them. If you find one product easier to use, you might want to choose it.
TaxAct has four levels to choose from. Each comes with its own price. Jackson Hewitt claims to charge everyone a flat rate. That assumes, however, that you do everything independently without any help from a professional.
The Free level can work well for filers with straightforward financial situations.
If you want to file state taxes, you will need to pay an extra $34.95 per state.
Deluxe costs $24.95 for filing federal taxes. This level will walk you through more deduction options, so it can potentially pay for itself by lowering your tax burden. It’s a good option for homeowners, parents, and people with student loan payments.
Filing state taxes costs an extra $44.95 per stat.
TaxAct’s Premier level offers even more deduction options. IT costs $34.95 for filing federal taxes. Each state costs an extra $44.95.
You might need this level if you sold your home, own a rental property, or earned money from investments.
Self Employed costs $64.95 for filing federal taxes. Each state you file taxes in will cost an additional $44.95.
The people who choose Self Employed usually receive 1099 documents instead of W2s. It’s a good option for freelancers, contractors, and small business owners.
Jackson Hewitt charges a flat $25 rate for filing taxes online without professional assistance. The price includes federal and state taxes.
Jackson Hewitt doesn’t provide pricing for its in-person services. You might need to contact your local Jackson Hewitt office to get a price estimate.
Anyone can run into challenges while filing their taxes. Good customer support should help you find the answers you need to finish your taxes correctly and avoid audits.
Every level of TaxAct gives you access to free Xpert Assist over the phone. The website also has tools for checking your filing status, preparing for next year’s taxes, and answering common tax questions.
Jackson Hewitt has a library of videos and articles that offer tax tips, instructions, and information. The videos can answer everything from “what tax penalties do I pay for filing late?” to “how can I amend a tax return?”
You can also get in-person customer support from Jackson Hewitt. Keep in mind that in-person support might cost more than doing your taxes online without help.
Jackson Hewitt gives you a Maximum Refund Guarantee. If you don’t get your maximum refund, the company will pay you the difference plus $100. Jackson Hewitt also has a Lifetime Accuracy Guarantee that pays the penalties and interest caused by tax preparation errors.
TaxAct offers a $100k Accuracy Guarantee. If the software makes an error, the company will reimburse the cost, pay any difference, and pay up to $100,000 toward your legal costs. TaxAct also gives you a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, but you must request a refund before you print or e-file your return.
Some taxpayers need more services than the average person. For example, anyone managing a tax-exempt organization will need specialized services designed for their industry. If you might need additional tax services, you should know what TaxAct and Jackson Hewitt can do for you.
Jackson Hewitt’s online tax services focus on self-service and assisted filing. You can also use in-person and drop-off tax preparation at a physical location. Most of the employees at Jackson Hewitt are trained to address typical tax situations. If you need additional assistance, the company can connect you with an expert to address concerns such as:
If you need services outside of these options, you may want to contact a professional with experience in tax law and accounting.
Comparing online tax preparation software can take some time. You want to consider prices, services, guarantees, and ease of use. Paying a little more for user-friendly software might make sense, especially if you feel anxious while doing your taxes.
TaxAct and Jackson Hewitt have plenty to offer taxpayers. Either of them could meet your needs. Jackson Hewitt, however, stands out as the obvious choice for anyone seeking in-person tax preparation. If you don’t care about working directly with a tax professional, TaxAct will work just as well.
Since both companies let you try their software, you might as well open free accounts to see which one you like better. You might not find a considerable difference. In that case, it could make sense to choose the cheaper option. Then again, you might discover that one option offers a user experience that you find superior. You might not mind paying a little more for that small luxury.