Jackson Hewitt Tax Resolution Services Review 2022: Pros, Cons and How It Compares
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If you need tax relief, you can work directly with the IRS (more about that at the bottom of this review). But if you want professional help, you can work with a tax-relief company such as Jackson Hewitt Tax Resolution Services.
You may know the Jackson Hewitt name when it comes to tax preparation, but the company also has a tax-relief arm that could help you with tax problems.
The bottom line Jackson Hewitt employs certified public accountants, enrolled agents or attorneys to handle a variety of tax issues for a competitive fee. This year, investigation fees for federal tax issues are free.
Average resolution fees
Free for federal. $400 on average for state.
Fees start at $500; total typical fees run from $1,500 to $5,000.
Pros & Cons
Free investigation phase for federal tax issues.
Resolution fees on par with competitors.
Most case managers are also enrolled agents or CPAs.
Not available in Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire or North Dakota.
No state tax help available in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina or Wyoming.
Investigation phase is only free for federal tax issues.
Compare with similar providers
Jackson Hewitt provides a wide variety of tax-relief and resolution services that can help people manage their back taxes.
New for 2022, investigation into federal tax issues is free (formerly $399), while discovery of state tax issues runs about $400 on average. The free federal tax investigation also includes a penalty relief evaluation, and according to Jackson Hewitt, you’re not obligated to use its services after receiving the discovery results.
Resolution work costs much more, and depends on the particular tax issue. The company says its fees for things like setting up an installment agreement, applying for an offer in compromise or seeking currently-not-collectible status start at $500 but run from $1,500 to $5,000 on average. The actual fee will be influenced by factors such as the amount you owe (which can create additional work), how many tax returns you still need to file or fix, and what kind of tax resolution you’re looking for.
Like competing firms, Jackson Hewitt will connect you with a case manager who is your primary contact at the company. Many case managers are enrolled agents or CPAs. A second person, a resolution manager, does the bulk of the actual work representing you before the IRS.
One important caveat with Jackson Hewitt Tax Resolution Services is that it’s not available in every state — sorry, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire and North Dakota. In a few other states (Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Wyoming) the service will help only with your federal tax bills, not state issues.
Jackson Hewitt Tax Resolution Services is best for:
People who want to work with a national brand.
Those with federal tax issues who want to take advantage of a free discovery phase.
People who want a case manager and resolution manager with a professional designation.
Jackson Hewitt Tax Resolution Services at a glance
$0 for federal. $400 for state.
Average resolution fees* (low end)
Fees start at $500. Average fees run from $1,500 to $5,000.
Average resolution fees* (high end)
Fees start at $500. Average fees run from $1,500 to $5,000.
Refundability of fees if IRS denies requests
Available but limited.
Phone, email and mail.
Dedicated case manager?
Clients get a "dedicated service group." Main point of contact may be a licensed tax pro (EA, CPA, attorney).
*Fees depend on individual tax circumstances and the relief action being pursued (e.g., offer in compromise, installment agreement, currently-not-collectible status).
Jackson Hewitt Tax Resolution Services features to know
Fees: If you just want to see what this is all about, Jackson Hewitt offers a free consultation as well as free investigation into your federal tax issues. The free discovery phase includes a diagnosis of your federal IRS tax issues (not state tax issues — that discovery process comes with a fee). Should you decide to pursue resolution with Jackson Hewitt, there are many paths to go down, and the final bill depends on the size of your tax problem, and the route you pursue. Fees start at $500, and average resolution prices range from $1,500 to $5,000.
Who does the work: Jackson Hewitt assigns a "dedicated service group" to you. However, the whole thing is a virtual experience; you don’t meet with your case manager in person. A resolution manager is the one who represents you before the IRS. Many of Jackson Hewitt’s case managers (day-to-day client contacts) are EAs, CPAs or attorneys.
Refunds: Jackson Hewitt says refunds are available, but limited.
Do tax-relief companies really work? Things to know
Before you decide to hire a tax-relief company, here are a few things to know.
Working with a tax-relief company generally entails two steps:
Investigation, or discovery, work, which involves giving the company legal access to your tax records and information in order to learn how much you owe and understand what the problem is. Tax-relief companies typically charge a fee for this.
Resolution work, which involves the tax-relief company working with the IRS on your behalf to get you on an installment plan, apply for an offer in compromise to pay less than you owe, apply for currently-not-collectible status, or figure something else out. Tax-relief companies typically charge a fee for this, too.
You’re not required to hire anybody
If you want to hire a tax-relief company because you don’t have the time or energy to deal with a tax issue, that’s fine. But be aware that it’s not required. There are many things you can handle directly with the IRS to get back on track without having to pay a third party. Some of those things include:
You’re still responsible
Three things here:
Your tax bill doesn’t become the tax-relief company’s tax bill. The IRS will still look to you for answers (and money), even if the tax-relief company loses your paperwork, misses a deadline or messes something up.
The tax-relief company can ask the IRS for a break on your behalf, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get one. The IRS denies more than half of all applications for an offer in compromise, for example. You may still have to pay the tax-relief company, on top of your tax bill, even if the IRS denies the request or gives you just a tiny break.
Take a minute and do some math. Compare the amount you’re hoping to save with the amount you may need to pay the tax-relief company. For example, if you end up paying a tax-relief company $2,000 to reduce your IRS bill by $2,000, you haven’t saved any money.
Is Jackson Hewitt right for you?
Jackson Hewitt Tax Resolution Services can handle many common tax-relief needs — and at a competitive price. This year, the investigative stage is also free for your federal tax issues. However, the service is not available in every state, and if an online portal or an in-person experience is important to you, it might make sense to look elsewhere.