For years, Jackson Hewitt has been making tax filing easy and accessible through it’s Walmart store locations. It’s also working to make DIY filing easy through it’s online software.Is it worth using in 2020? Despite the decent software, and middle of the road prices, we think it’s a pass this year. Here’s why we’re not recommending Jackson Hewitt Online even if you qualify for free filing.Here’s what you need to know about filing your taxes through Jackson Hewitt Online in 2020. See how Jackson Hewitt Online compares to the other top tax software this year.
Jackson Hewitt Online offers free filing for individuals and married couples with up to $100,000 in income, and no children or dependents. The free filing includes state filing. Everyone else will have to pay for either the Deluxe or Premier levels.
Jackson Hewitt’s pricing is for software only. It doesn’t come with any special features such as audit assistance guarantees or in-person checks.Additionally, Jackson Hewitt’s 0% tax anticipation loan options ARE NOT available to online customers. You must pay for in person filing to qualify for these loans. Potential customers should also note that Jackson Hewitt may intend to raise its prices closer to the filing deadline, as its website denoted these prices as “limited time only.”
In addition to these plans, Jackson Hewitt is releasing a “Tax Pro From Home” service. You’ll upload documents to an app, and a tax professional will take care of the filing. Prices are not yet released, but are expected to be in line with the storefront filing costs.As a note for early filers, actual pricing may not match the advertised prices. During user testing we noticed that the real pricing doesn’t match the advertised pricing. As of the point of testing, users will pay $25 for Federal filing and state filing is included for free. Additionally, users earning less than $100,000 who don’t have dependents can file for free.
Jackson Hewitt Online appears to use a white-labeled version of tax software issued by Drake Tax Software (essentially, 1040.com). That means it’s navigation exactly matches the experience of the 1040.com software. In general, the software works pretty well. The software combines simple questions and self-guidance to get users through the tax software, and it is ultimately pretty easy to use. However, landlords will hate this software. It doesn’t give an easy way to enter information about Rental income. You have to know to add a Schedule E through the search button.
According to its website, Jackson Hewitt Online should allow users to upload W2 forms to expedite the filing process.However, user testing showed no obvious way to complete the upload. As far as we can tell, the software doesn’t allow users to import any information or forms. Perhaps this is a function that is expected later in the season, but it’s a disappointment to not get what is advertised.Aside from the requirement to enter all information yourself, the software is fairly easy to use. The inputs required for “depreciation” calculators or other complex tax things were easy to understand.
Jackson Hewitt Online has a limited library of knowledge articles. However, the software contains details that minimize the need to seek additional information. Users can access help via live chat, so any technical issues should be easy for users to resolve.
Jackson Hewitt Online doesn’t include a lot of extras, but users can access customer service via Live Chat anytime. The service doesn’t include an audit protection guarantee or other information.
Jackson Hewitt Online does not offer special guidance on filing crypto trades. However, it does have all the necessary forms for filing.
Jackson Hewitt Online allows users to set up multi-factor authentication using email or text messaging. The service always prompts for a second factor when you log in.
In 2020, Jackson Hewitt Online is not on the short list of software providers.While it has free services, H&R Block and Credit Karma Tax offer better free software for more users. For the price, I recommend TaxSlayer Premium which comes with lots of valuable extras that can give tax filers more confidence. If you’re willing to spend a bit more, TurboTax may make sense, especially if you’re an active stock or cryptocurrency trader.