Last Updated: January 11, 2023
Tax filing can be stressful. Fortunately, there’s help available on tap. But which tax prep software to choose? Check out our Jackson Hewitt vs H&R Block review, which contains the answers to all the questions you may have about these two providers.
H&R Block vs Jackson Hewitt: Side-by-Side Comparison
Before diving into the details, let’s compare the basic features of Jackson Hewitt and H&R Block.
|Jackson Hewitt||H&R Block|
|Cost of DIY filing||$25 including state||$0-$114.99
+$0/$44.99 per state filed
|Support||Phone, live chat||Phone, office|
|Access to a tax expert||Yes||Yes|
|Guarantees||Lifetime accuracy, biggest refund, satisfaction guarantee, and three years price lock||100% accurate calculations and maximum refund|
What Is Jackson Hewitt?
Founded in 1982, Jackson Hewitt is the second-largest tax preparation service in the United States. It has 6,000 locations across the country and allows you to file your tax return in-store with a tax professional. Its affordable flat rate makes Jackson Hewitt best for someone who doesn’t qualify for free federal filing and wants a straightforward online service.
What Is H&R Block?
H&R Block was founded in 1955 and has become one of the leading tax services. It has prepared more than 800 million tax returns. H&R Block offers a variety of products for different tax situations. You can also pay for a tax professional to assist you while you file online.
H&R Block vs Jackson Hewitt Cost
H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt have different pricing structures. While the former has one flat rate for all users, the latter offers several packages to cater to the needs of various taxpayers.
Jackson Hewitt Prices
Jackson Hewitt used to offer three DIY tax prep solutions at varying prices. Currently, though, the company has a single flat rate of $25.
While it doesn’t have a free edition like its competitor, Jackson Hewitt is one of the most affordable tax prep services on the market. All tax situations are covered by the company’s single offer. The service includes one federal tax and unlimited state returns. It also covers all major IRS forms and schedules, so you can complete even complex situations.
Also, if you opt for the service in 2022, you’ll be locked into the $25 rate for three years. So, even if Jackson Hewitt hikes its prices, you shouldn’t worry about it, at least for this period. Considering the rising cost of living in the US and the ongoing inflation, this is a great deal.
H&R Block Free Edition
The IRS estimates up to 70% of Americans qualify for free online tax preparation services. If you’re among them and need to file only simple returns, you can use H&R Block’s Free Edition. It will cost you $0 to file federal tax forms as well as state returns.
This option is great if you are single or married with no dependents, have less than $100,000 income, and take the standard deduction. Like most of its competitors, H&R Block lets you file Form 1040 plus Form 1099, 1098, and 1095. For claiming the earned income tax credit, H&R Block allows you to attach Schedule EIC (earned income credit).
H&R Block Deluxe
If you plan to itemize deductions or you are a homeowner, you will probably have to upgrade to the Deluxe plan. H&R Block Deluxe is for families and homeowners as well as retirees, but it isn’t specified if it offers additional benefits for them. You can also choose this option if you have children. The H&R Block Deluxe will cost you $54.99, plus $44.99 per state filed.
H&R Block Premium
This plan is best for those who have rental properties, investments, or cryptocurrency income. The premium plan of H&R Block will cost you $74.99 for federal tax returns and $44.99 per state filed.
Besides the features mentioned in the previous plan, in the Premium plan, you are able to file Schedule C, D, E, and K-1. Schedule C focuses on independent contractors and freelancers with simple income. Schedule D is for stocks, bonds, and capital gains and losses. Schedule E reports rental property income, tax deductions, and partnerships, while Schedule K-1 reports personal partnership, estate, or trust income.
H&R Block Self-Employed
H&R Block’s self-employed plan is the most expensive one. It costs $114.99 for federal filing + $44.99 per state.
In this option is included every form and deduction that H&R Block offers. Plus, you can claim your small business expenses and report all business deductions and asset depreciation.
Which Is Easier to Use: Jackson Hewitt or H&R Block?
Even though most tax preparation services work the same way, they are different in prices, support, and user experience.
H&R Block has an easy-to-use interface. It offers a step-by-step explanation of the concepts as you go. There is a banner that keeps track of where you are, but sometimes it can be difficult to skip certain steps. The help menu is visible on every page, so you can access the chat if you need help throughout the process. On the right corner, there is a shopping cart that shows you which package you are buying and how much is the total bill.
Jackson Hewitt makes tax preparation easy with straightforward pricing. You can upload your tax forms through its website, and you can even use your phone camera to take a photo and upload forms. After you log in on their website, you fill out the form with your first and last name, email address, phone number, and the state you live in. If you are filing your taxes for the first time, Jackson Hewitt will guide you through the process, and you will have access to its online tax-help database.
Surprisingly, Jackson Hewitt doesn’t have a mobile app, but it has a great mobile version of the browser-based tax service. Overall, the user interface is good. Though it is not innovative, the company does a great job replicating the tax preparation experience for a small screen.
Unlike Jackson Hewitt, H&R Block has a mobile app that is available for both Android and iOS devices. You can file your taxes from any other device. If you are accustomed to using your smartphone, you will find it easy to file your returns via mobile. The mobile app offers simple navigation, a help system, and tax topics. The screen looks like the browser-based version, but the mobile version displays icons at the bottom of the screen, providing another path to the tools.
With H&R Block, you can choose to receive your refund in several ways:
- Direct deposit to a credit card
- Spruce (mobile banking platform built by H&R Block)
- Paper check
- Apply the refund to next year’s taxes
When it comes to paying for H&R Block’s tax preparation fees, you can use your refund to pay for that, but the company will charge you an additional $39.
The company guarantees 100% accurate calculations and a maximum refund. In case you aren’t satisfied with the service, you will receive a refund of the purchase price.
Likewise, Jackson Hewitt guarantees 100% accuracy and a maximum refund. When it comes to receiving your refund, Jackson Hewitt offers:
- Direct deposit to a credit card
- Email or paper check
The company allows you to put the refund on your American Express Serve Card. It is important to mention that if you need your refund quickly, Jackson Hewitt offers a refund in advance. Also, the company accepts payments from federal refunds, but a $24.95 fee applies in this case.
Support and Resources
H&R Block offers several ways to get customer help. You can get general guidance, one-on-one tax help as well as tech support. H&R Block offers an additional support service called Online Assist. It offers unlimited, on-demand chat or screen-sharing sessions with a tax professional while preparing your return. The price for Online Assist varies by the plan you’ve chosen:
- Basic version – $69.99 for federal returns and $39.99 per state
- Deluxe version – $109.99 for federal returns and $49.99 per state
- Premium version – $159.99 for federal returns and $49.99 per state
- Self-employed version – $194.99 for federal returns and $49.99 per state
If you become tax identity fraud victim, H&R Block is here to help you. The optional add-on Tax Identity Shield costs $29.95.
Jackson Hewitt also has tech support such as unlimited email and chat support. So if you decide to file online, you get a searchable knowledge base and guidance through the process.
And if you need extra assistance, you can hire a tax pro to help with the tax preparation process or even file your taxes on your behalf. Jackson Hewitt has 6,000 physical stores, so you can make an appointment to talk face-to-face with an expert to go over questions or concerns you may have.
The price will vary depending on the office and assistance level you choose and how complex your tax situation is. For example, if you decide to file in one of the company’s Walmart offices, the cost starts at $59.
Jackson Hewitt also offers add-ons, like the Protection Plus package. Priced at $29.95, this service includes audit assistance and ID theft protection.
In case you are audited, it’s important to know what kind of support you are getting from your tax software. H&R Block provides free audit support with all its packages, but it also offers a product called Worry-Free Audit Support which costs $19.95. With this option, you get not just guidance on how to handle notices and information about what to expect but also full representation before the IRS from a tax professional.
Unlike H&R Block, you cannot get hands-on audit support from Jackson Hewitt unless you pay for the Protection Plus package. Then, if you get audited, Jackson Hewitt will keep you updated throughout the process and handle penalties, tax debts, and more. In this case, you may have to attend a meeting in person or send additional information by mail. A representative will explain how your tax return was prepared, but Jackson Hewitt doesn’t offer representation before the IRS.
Final Verdict: Which Is Better H&R Block or Jackson Hewitt?
Both H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt offer reliable tax prep services. The main difference between the two is in their pricing models. Essentially, if you have only simple tax returns to file, you’ll be better off using H&R Block’s free service. Yet, if you have a more complex tax situation, you can deal with it for just $25 using Jackson Hewitt’s software.
So, should you choose Jackson Hewitt or H&R Block? It depends on your financial situation and how much you want to pay. Hopefully, our detailed comparison has helped you choose the option that fits your needs better.
Jackson Hewitt offers a single plan for all tax situations, which covers one federal return and unlimited state returns for $25.
H&R Block offers four options, one of which is free. The Deluxe plan costs $54.99, the Premium is $74.99, and the Self-employed package is $114.99. An additional state filed costs $44.99.
Jackson Hewitt vs H&R Block pricing structures are different. Jackson Hewitt offers a single option that costs $25 and covers all tax situations, while H&R Block has four packages catering to different needs and ranging from $0 to $144.99. Essentially, comparing the two companies, H&R Block is more expensive for complex tax situations, while Jackson Hewitt is pricier for simple tax returns.