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Jackson Hewitt Review 2024: Best Tax Filing Service for Multiple State Returns

Jackson Hewitt’s bare-bones software lags behind competitors, but its $25 price is tough to beat.

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Instead of paying extra for access to additional tax forms and deductions, Jackson Hewitt offers affordable, flat-fee online pricing no matter your tax situation. 

For just $25, the tax service covers your federal tax return and as many state returns as you need. Jackson Hewitt’s competitors charge anywhere from $15 to $40 per state filing, making Jackson Hewitt our choice for the best tax software for those of you filing multiple state returns. 

There are some drawbacks, however. Jackson Hewitt’s bare-bones software lags behind competitors like TurboTax and H&R Block -- with no option to upload files or tax forms -- and its customer support for online filing is limited. There’s also very limited contextual tax help. 

But if you’re confident about filing your income taxes and don’t require fancy features or expert assistance, Jackson Hewitt’s bargain tax software could be a good choice.

  • Low price
  • Unlimited state returns included in price
  • Can file online, at local branch or at participating Walmart locations*
  • Can’t import forms
  • Online platform is not as user friendly as competitors’
  • Minimal online tax filing support
  • Can’t file online with a tax pro like other services

*$25 flat fee is for online DIY filing only. Filing in-branch or at retail locations may cost more.

Who should use Jackson Hewitt tax software?

With its low price, simple interface and straightforward approach, Jackson Hewitt works best for bargain hunters who believe “less is more” and just want to get their taxes done. It’s similar to FreeTaxUSA and Cash App Taxes in this way.

If you need to file multiple state returns because you either earned income in multiple states or work in one state and live in another, Jackson Hewitt is a great choice. The company lets you file unlimited state returns after paying $25 for federal filing. Some options like Cash App Taxes don’t allow multiple state returns at all.

If you’re looking for customer service or the ability to upload multiple forms, have a complicated return or want online expert tax help, try another online tax service. Jackon Hewitt’s online software isn’t as user-friendly as top competitors’. 

I recommend only confident filers use Jackson Hewitt’s online DIY option. All tax information will also have to be entered manually since this software doesn’t support W-2 upload. The lack of extensive support and explanation of forms could lead to possible errors in data entry or even a missed tax credit.

What products does Jackson Hewitt offer?

Like H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt offers tax preparation services both online and at real-world offices with a tax pro, including about 2,600 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. 

Jackson Hewitt’s do-it-yourself filing option is notable for its flat $25 fee, which includes federal and unlimited state returns. 

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 very minimal guidance on the part of the software to help you fill out complicated forms.

How does Jackson Hewitt’s tax filing software work?

Jackson Hewitt’s online tax software uses a simple question-and-answer model to collect your personal information, wages and income, deductions and credits.

You can either select the tax forms you need or click the “Guide me through all sections” option after entering your personal information. The latter conjures up a series of “yes” or “no” questions that help the software determine what other forms are required by the IRS.  

Jackson Hewitt's tax software asking a yes or no question about bank interest.
Jackson Hewitt/Screenshot by CNET

Every time you answer yes, you’ll be prompted to fill out the corresponding form. For example, if you earned interest from a high-yield savings account last year, you will need to fill out a 1099-INT immediately. This works fine. But I would’ve much preferred to answer all of the questions at once and then view a full list of the forms I need to complete on a personal dashboard after the fact. That way, I’d know how close I am to finishing my return.

Contextual help on Jackson Hewitt is limited to basic tax questions and links to help manage your account. The option to file your taxes with a tax pro online is nonexistent -- this is something most other competitors offer. Even the way the navigation panel on the left-hand side disappears when you go in to fill out a form makes the user experience feel outdated. 

You’ll also need to fill out all forms on Jackson Hewitt manually. There’s no option to upload a form or connect electronically with a financial institution to transfer your account information over. Because of this, Jackson Hewitt online works best when you have only a few tax forms to report. If you have a more complicated tax situation, consider other online options or even filing at your local Jackson Hewitt branch for personalized attention. 

Jackson Hewitt doesn’t have a dedicated mobile app, but the browser-based software is optimized for mobile devices and works fine. The simple navigation works 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 competing 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.

Jackson Hewitt offers email and live chat support free of charge. However, the live chat feature is difficult to find since it does not have a designated tab or bottom on every screen. It’s actually hidden under the “send us an email” contact option at the bottom of the help tab.

Jackson Hewitt online tax filing software
Jackson Hewitt/Screenshot by CNET

Other notable features of Jackson Hewitt

Jackson Hewitt’s online tax preparation software offers some notable 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. You’ll be required to file the amended return yourself.
  • Maximum Refund Guarantee: You get your $25 fee back if you find a larger refund with another service. 

While Jackson Hewitt’s help and support tax tools are nothing to brag about, the help tab includes a useful search function at the bottom of the page that 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.

If you create an account with Jackson Hewitt and decide the service is not for you, you can delete your account easily. All you need to do is click on the same My Account tab and scroll down to the bottom. Select “Delete your account.”

Is Jackson Hewitt right for me?

Jackson Hewitt’s online tax preparation software has just about everything you need to file your taxes for a great price. It works best for DIY filers 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 will be left wanting more.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

Danni Santana has spent seven years as an editor and business journalist covering industries like sports, retail, restaurants, and now personal finance. Most recently he worked as a retail editor at Business Insider. He is a graduate of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. His biggest loves outside of the newsroom include, running, cooking, playing video games and collecting sneakers.
Peter is a writer and editor for the CNET How-To team. He has been covering technology, software, finance, sports and video games since working for @Home Network and Excite in the 1990s. Peter managed reviews and listings for during the 2000s, and is passionate about software and no-nonsense advice for creators, consumers and investors.
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