December 31, 2007 // Franchising.com // PARSIPPANY, N.J., – With today's IRS announcement, that they expect no delays to the start of the upcoming tax season for the majority of taxpayers and a delay of approximately four weeks for select taxpayers claiming certain tax credits, all due to the new tax law for the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), Jackson Hewitt announces that it will be business as usual for its tax preparation customers as well as most tax filers.
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service®, an industry leader providing full service individual federal and state income tax preparation, alerts taxpayers to consult with a tax preparer to determine if they can begin to file in mid-January as normal.
"Since most of the AMT related activity - Congress and then the President signing the new law and today's IRS announcement regarding the lack of a delay to the filing season for most tax filers – has taken place during the holiday season, we expect that most tax filers were not aware of all of the details, especially, the possibility of a late start to the season," said Mark Steber, Vice President of Tax Resources at Jackson Hewitt Tax Service. "We anticipate that most tax filers will see the season as business as usual and will begin seeking out their tax preparer for assistance and information in efficiently preparing and filing their individual income tax return. For those taxpayers who are unsure if they are impacted by the AMT, we suggest reaching out to a local, knowledgeable tax preparer and getting the answers soon so that they can better plan for the filing of their returns. All Jackson Hewitt offices can assist these filers now with preparing their returns and placing them in queue for fast submission to the IRS on their filing acceptance date."
Taxpayers affected by the delay are only those who are filing for the following five credits. For these filers, the IRS expects to be able to begin receiving their completed tax return beginning on February 11.
* Form 8863, Education Credits.
* Form 5695, Residential Energy Credits.
* Form 1040A's Schedule 2, Child and Dependent Care Expenses for Form 1040A Filers.
* Form 8396, Mortgage Interest Credit.
* Form 8859, District of Columbia First-Time Homebuyer Credit.
Taxpayers are free to submit tax returns with Form 6251, Alternative Minimum Tax - Individuals and the forms for all other individual tax credits starting on January 14, the first day of electronic filing via IRS e-file.
Taxpayers who are not affected by any of the new tax considerations may file as soon as they receive their Form W-2 or access their paperwork using Jackson Hewitt's electronic W-2 download capabilities, helping them to avoid the wait for their paper return in the mail and begin the process toward fast receipt of an anticipated income tax refund. The deadline for filing a 2007 tax return remains the same – midnight on April 15, 2008.
Changes in Filing and Forms
Because the IRS will be delayed in processing both electronic and paper tax returns for select taxpayers affected by the law change, some taxpayers may experience a delay in receiving a tax refund, if they are entitled to one. The IRS states that refunds are generally issued about six to eight weeks after the IRS receives a paper return, and approximately half that time if taxpayers file electronically and choose to receive a refund by direct deposit.
Taxpayers also need to be aware that the IRS has already printed the basic Form 1040 as well as the Instructions for Form 1040 – both key documents needed for preparing a tax return. Neither will have the AMT patch provisions, but the IRS has stated that the instructions for Form 1040 and other forms affected are being revised and that additional supplemental guidance will be made available.
"We saw a great deal of tax changes at the end of 2007; in addition to the AMT patch, Congress passed the Mortgage Indebtedness Relief Act of 2007 and the IRS released a clarification on allowed dependent exemptions concerning an unrelated child," explains Steber. "Because of this, we expect to have more taxpayers with questions about these late changes. This is one reason why now more than ever, it helps to seek out a tax preparer who can provide assistance in understanding and applying these considerations and can help taxpayers with accurate tax preparation and free electronic filing (IRS e-file), ideally leading to faster processing and receipt of a refund, if one is anticipated."
Jackson Hewitt has tax preparers available around the country to assist taxpayers in learning about the Alternative Minimum Tax, changes to filing, and other important information needed for the 2008 tax season. To schedule an appointment with a local tax preparer or locate a nearby Jackson Hewitt office, consumers are advised to contact 1-800-234-1040 or to visit www.jacksonhewitt.com. To speak with Jackson Hewitt's Vice President of Tax Resources, Mark Steber, about the AMT law, the delay and its affects, as well as the other tax law changes that have been put into place, please contact Melissa Connerton at 212-455-8001 to schedule an interview.
About Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. (NYSE: JTX), with over 6,500 franchised and company-owned offices throughout the United States during the 2007 tax season, is an industry leader providing full service individual federal and state income tax preparation. Most offices are independently owned and operated. The Company is based in Parsippany, New Jersey. More information may be obtained at www.jacksonhewitt.com. To locate the Jackson Hewitt Tax Service® office nearest to you, call 1-800-234-1040.