Jackson Hewitt

time icon 5 min read update icon Sept. 20, 2019
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Jackson Hewitt alleviates the stress of tax season by offering the only truly free basic filing service, and over 6,000 physical office locations nationwide.

Jackson Hewitt is a trusted name in the tax preparation service industry. The company offersfour easy-to-understand online plans, and the only truly free basic tax filing service for 1040 filers. The company takes the guesswork out of filing your taxes, and even provides representation in the event you are audited by the IRS. This added peace of mind means a smooth tax season for those who decide to file their taxes through this industry stalwart.

Grandfolk Scoring
Cost 8/10
Warranty 10/10
Ease 8/10
Cancellation 10/10
Customer support 9/10
Restrictions 10/10
Discounts 10/10
Disbursement options 8/10
Security 10/10
One-time fee
Is the service guaranteed?
100% accuracy guaranteed tax preparation, maximum refund guaranteed
Is the service easy to use?
Yes, start for free online
Cost or difficulty to cancel?
No difficulty
Customer support
Ease of access
Unlimited online support; 3,000 Walmart locations
Are all State and Federal forms available?
Does the site offer discounts?
Yes; $20 Walmart eGift Card with state return
Disbursement options
How can I get my refund?
Direct deposit, prepaid card and check
Is the software secure?
Yes; Privacy Policy available online
Age Score:
50-64 Years
65-74 Years
75-84 Years

Jackson Hewitt is an excellent option if you are looking to begin the filing process online and then transition to a physical office. It is also a great option if you have a complex tax situation. Most seniors on social security will qualify for the only truly free version of online tax service out there.Some people may be automatically upgraded to the plan they need based on inputs such as real estate or investment deductions. Jackson Hewitt even has two easily navigable online portals to help you input your information and get your refund in a timely manner. 

Health Score:
Great Health
Good Health
Fair Health
Poor Health

There is no significant health benefit for using Jackson Hewitt to file taxes over any comparable service. Regardless, if you’re prone to stress around tax season, these guys might be your best bet. The online software has four plans, with the free version being the only truly free option across all competitors. This is great for seniors, since many may only need to file a 1040 based on their income allocations. 

Furthermore, the online portal guides users through either an interview-like series of questions, or allows more traditional inputs, all of which are covered by the 100% accuracy guarantee and representation in the event you get notice of an IRS audit. Finally, Jackson Hewitt has offices throughout the nation, with most of those found in Walmart centers.


  • The Basic edition comes with a $20 Walmart eGift Card when you file state returns.
  • The online versions have two distinct views: the interview-like guided view or the more traditional tax form view.
  • The do-it-yourself style of Jackson Hewitt means you only pay for what you need, and each plan has a graduated cost range.
  • There is a $1,300 cash advance option for those in need of assistance.
  • There are over 6,000 physical locations nationwide.


  • Jackson Hewitt automatically upgrades your plan when you select certain deductions.
  • The company does not maintain your tax returns.
  • There is no downloadable version of the software for your desktop.

Bottom Line:

Jackson Hewitt is a straightforward tax preparation service, with both virtual and physical locations in which to complete your tax returns. The online versions, of which there are four, allow users to complete their taxes via an interview-like process, or through a more traditional plug-and-chug interface. Users should be aware, however, that Jackson Hewitt will automatically upgrade plans based on critical inputs such as whether the filer received income from a real estate sale. 

The company also offers over 6,000 physical locations nationwide, with 3,000 of those in Walmart stores. This is also one of the few companies that entices customers with the offer of a $20 Walmart eGift Card when they file a state return.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How long are my files kept on record?

Jackson Hewitt does not maintain your tax returns, and encourages you to keep a copy in the event you receive an IRS audit notice.

Can I use my refund to pay my filing fee?

No, but there is an option to apply for a $1,300 cash advance.    

Can I visit a physical location?

Yes, there are over 6,000 nationwide offices, with nearly half located in Walmart centers.

More Information:

Product Details


Jackson Hewitt allows tax preparers the flexibility to begin the process online and complete their filing in store, and is the only service to offer a truly free version. That said, portions of the online software are automated, and based upon user inputs, will immediately upgrade filers into the next tax plan.

Package Details:

Jackson Hewitt offers four distinct online preparation plans: Free, Basic, Deluxe and Premium. Like most tax preparation services, each offering builds upon the previous based on varying levels of complexity and inputs provided by the user. That said, all filers are meant to begin with the Free version at no cost, and then progress to the Basic version, which costs between $19.95 and $34.95. Deluxe is best for investors, and costs $54.95.Premium is a good fit for those with small businesses at a cost of $79.95. Each state return adds an additional $36.95. 

Each version allows the user to complete their forms via the interview-like guided view or the more hands-off tax form view. All plans are covered by the 100% accuracy guarantee and come with free audit defense if you require representation before the IRS.

Optional Accessories or Add-on Services:

Jackson Hewitt offers over 6,000 physical office locations, but no downloadable software.The mobile app is spotty at best.

Additional Company Details

Contract Details:  The online plans offered by Jackson Hewitt do not directly involve CPAs, and those with complex tax situations are encouraged to visit a local branch for further guidance when filing their returns. Unlike other online tax preparation sites, though, Jackson Hewitt does provide basic audit defense and representation in the event you need to answer to the IRS. 

Warranty:  Jackson Hewitt offers a 100% accuracy tax preparation guarantee, a maximum refund guarantee and, unlike other online tax preparation services, free representation in the event you are audited by the IRS.

Accreditations:  Jackson Hewitt is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, but maintains an A+ rating.

Company Details:  John Hewitt founded this tax service in 1982 when he purchased Mel Jackson’s Tax Service with the help of various investors. Over the course of three decades, the brand has grown to encompass more than 6,000 franchised locations, with half of those in Walmart centers throughout the U.S.


Jackson Hewitt
10 Exchange Pl Fl 27
Jersey City, NJ 07302-3922
Tel: 800-234-1040
Website: https://www.jacksonhewitt.com/Contact-Us/

Kate Papenberg - Senior Advisor

Kate is senior researcher with Grandfolk® providing in-depth product and service reviews to empower senior buying decisions.