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Jackson Hewitt Review 2023: Attractive $25 Filing Cost, But Less Appealing User Experience

Jackson Hewitt offers straightforward tax preparation for one standard fee, regardless of your tax situation.

Jackson Hewitt online tax filing logo
Brandon Douglas/CNET; Jackson Hewitt

This story is part of Taxes 2023, CNET's coverage of the best tax software, tax tips and everything else you need to file your return and track your refund.

Jackson Hewitt returns this tax season with a refreshing take on online tax software. Instead of paying more for access to additional tax forms and deductions, Jackson Hewitt offers affordable, flat-fee pricing to file your taxes online. Just $25 covers your federal tax return and as many state tax returns as you need.

There are some drawbacks to consider. Jackson Hewitt's bare-bones software lags behind competitors -- with no option to upload files or tax forms -- and its customer support for online filing is limited. There's no contextual tax help, and the software often links out to the IRS site for more information.

Still, Jackson Hewitt gives bargain tax shoppers a basic and low-price online tax software option. If you're confident about filing your income taxes and don't require fancy features or expert assistance, Jackson Hewitt could be a good choice, especially if you have income from multiple states.

Jackson Hewitt


  • Bargain price
  • Unlimited state returns
  • Robust security features

Don't Like

  • Can't import forms
  • Online platform is not as user friendly as competitors
  • Minimal support
  • Can't file online with a tax pro like other services

Who should use Jackson Hewitt tax software?

With its low price, simple interface and straightforward approach, Jackson Hewitt works best for bargain hunters who want to finish their taxes and move on with their year. It's also worth considering if you earned money in more than one state and need to file multiple state returns. Most competitors charge about $40 per extra state return, and some options like Cash App Taxes don't allow multiple state returns at all.

It's also a good option for those who don't like to be bombarded by upgrade offers, advertisements and overly complicated questions. Jackson Hewitt's user experience will suit people who believe "less is more."

Jackson Hewitt is an especially good deal for anyone who earned money in more than one state and needs to file multiple state returns. Most competitors charge about $40 per extra state return, and some options like Cash App Taxes don't allow multiple state returns at all.

Finally, Jackson Hewitt could be a good option if you're not put off by data entry and you don't want to pay hundreds of dollars for professional tax preparation. 

Who shouldn't use Jackson Hewitt tax software?

If you're looking for customer service or the ability to upload multiple forms, have a complicated return or want expert tax help, try another online tax service. The lack of extensive support and explanation of forms could lead to possible errors in data entry or a missed tax credit.

Jackson Hewitt's products and prices

Like H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt offers tax preparation services both online and at real-world offices, including about 3,000 kiosks in Walmart stores across the US. The cost of filing your taxes with Jackson Hewitt in person varies depending on the income type, filing status and forms required. Last year Jackson Hewitt offered two online filing options (do-it-yourself and file with a tax pro), but this year it offers a self-service online filing option.

Jackson Hewitt's file by yourself option is notable for its flat $25 fee, which includes federal and unlimited state returns. Most other services charge separately for your federal return and for each individual state return. 

The major downside to this low-priced options is that you're working with less sophisticated software, which can feel clunky at times, and you'll have to input your own data. There's no option to upload any forms or other tax files for automated entry.

All the IRS forms and schedules are included, but you have to make sure that you've completed each one required for your particular situation and that the information is accurate. There's no additional explanation along the way, so you'll need to figure out complicated forms on your own.

Using Jackson Hewitt online tax preparation software

Jackson Hewitt's online platform feels disconcertingly simple. The software uses a question-and-answer process to collect your personal information, wages and income, deductions and credits, then guides you into various IRS forms based on your answers.

Due to the small boxes on forms, the phrasing of the questions and the lack of contextual help, the whole process might seem as though you're using a version of the software that the company's in-office tax preparers use. 

Jackson Hewitt offers a "Guide me through all the selections" button and lets you jump directly to entering data for specific sections -- but it doesn't provide any navigational outline to help you see where you are in the process.

Even the navigational links to general federal sections like Income, Dependents, and Deductions and Credits disappear once you get into questions and forms. The overall user experience of filing with Jackson Hewitt can be disorienting -- it's easy to get lost.

Also, filling in all the individual boxes and amounts manually can make the tax return preparation process tedious. Jackson Hewitt works best when you have only a few tax forms to report.

Software support options in a phone app
Jackson Hewitt

Jackson Hewitt doesn't have a dedicated mobile app for iPhone or Android, but the browser-based software is optimized for mobile devices and works fine. The spare aesthetics and simple navigation work well on smaller screens.

Like its competitors, Jackson Hewitt displays your running estimated state and federal refunds or owed taxes at the top as you progress. However, you won't find the help resources of competitive services like TurboTax or H&R Block. If you don't have a lot of questions, this shouldn't be a problem -- but if you run into any difficult issues, it could be a major headache.

Other notable features of Jackson Hewitt

Jackson Hewitt's online tax preparation software offers several guarantees:

  • 100% Accuracy Guarantee: Jackson Hewitt will pay IRS penalties and interest that result from software calculation errors. You must notify Jackson Hewitt in writing within 10 days of your IRS notice, and the service will not file an amended return.
  • Maximum Refund Guarantee: You get your $25 fee back if you find a larger refund with another service. This may not be a great deal if you lose big money on your refund.
Woman doing taxes on a laptop
Jackson Hewitt

A useful search function in the Help section takes you directly to forms with a keyword or form number search. For instance, type in "child care" to go directly to IRS Form 2441 for child and dependent care expenses. Again, you'll need to know your taxes well to take advantage of that feature.

Jackson Hewitt's Security Center might be the software's most robust feature. Available from a My Account link, this page lets you configure or change multifactor authentication, shows current and historical session data and lets you add or remove trusted devices.


Jackson Hewitt's online tax preparation software has everything anyone needs to file their own taxes on the cheap. It works best for DIY types who don't mind data entry, are familiar with their tax situation and know how to report their income, deductions and credits. But those needing support and guidance may be left wanting more.

Compare other tax software

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