Jackson Hewitt(R) Tax Franchise Shares Top Five Tips for Last-Minute Tax Filers
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PARSIPPANY, N.J. // PRNewswire-FirstCall // -- With the April 15 tax deadline just over a week away, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service® has prepared a Top 5 list of important and timely information that last-minute filers need to know in order to get their 2009 tax returns prepared and filed in time. Keeping these last-minute tips top of mind will help taxpayers focus on exactly what to do, help avoid further delay, and ensure that the last-minute rush does not negatively impact their tax filing process and financial bottom-line.
"Each year a large number of taxpayers wait until the final days to file," said Mark Steber, chief tax officer, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. "For taxpayers in this situation, focusing on several areas can help them avoid the panic of the final days' rush, in order to file accurately and efficiently. Taxpayers should also think past April 15 and make sure they are working with a tax preparer or tax preparation company, like Jackson Hewitt, that will be there for them throughout the year should they have any questions or need audit assistance or to obtain their tax information."
Steber outlines Jackson Hewitt's top five tips for last-minute filers:
Don't Leave Money on the Table: From benefits relating to life changes experienced in 2009 to new and extended provisions dealing with education, dependents, homeownership and more, knowing which credits and deductions you can claim can help maximize a tax refund or reduce a tax liability owed. "With so many tax law changes every year, working with a knowledgeable tax preparer can help to ensure you claim what you qualify for and avoid leaving money on the table," noted Steber.
File Electronically: IRS e-file is not only faster than mailing a tax return; it's also more accurate and includes a confirmation of receipt, so taxpayers know their returns have been received before the deadline. When you e-file and use direct deposit into a bank account, you can receive your refund in as little as 8 to 15 days. Jackson Hewitt provides free electronic filing with paid tax preparation.
Know What to Bring: Not sure what documents are needed? Jackson Hewitt provides an online checklist of items needed for filing a tax return. Key items include:
Wage Statements (Form W-2)
All other income amounts
Unemployment compensation received
Social Security Card(s)
Dependents' social security numbers and dates of birth
Last year's federal and state tax returns; last year's state refund amount (if applicable)
Mortgage interest paid and real estate taxes (Form 1098)
Child care expenses and provided information (Social Security Number or Tax ID)
Total of all cash and non-cash charitable contributions
The cost of any qualified energy efficient home improvements (Note: If unsure of their qualifications, bring the product paperwork to Jackson Hewitt for assistance)
Any records to support your deductions
Form HUD-1 or its equivalent if filing for a First-Time Homeowner Credit
Don't Panic If You Cannot Pay: When you file your tax return by the April 15 deadline and find you have a tax liability, if you are unable to pay the full amount of taxes you owe, it is important to pay as much as possible to avoid a high assessment of penalties and interest. Talk to your tax preparer about the various payment options including: the IRS Installment Agreement, payment by credit card, and scheduled direct debit from your checking or savings account.
Understand How an Extension Works: It is important to note that filing for an extension only gives you until October 15 to file your return. Pay as much as possible, but know that to avoid certain penalties, you must pay 90 percent or more of your estimated tax liability on or before April 15. A knowledgeable tax preparer can help you assess whether a tax liability is due and help you file for an extension if one is needed.
Jackson Hewitt has over 6,300 locations throughout the country, with approximately 1,800 located in Walmart stores, providing convenient access to help taxpayers, including last-minute filers, accurately prepare and file their 2009 tax returns. Taxpayers can visit the Jackson Hewitt website and use the office locator tool or call 1-800-234-1040 to find a nearby office. Many locations will have extended hours during these final days to assist clients and answer questions.
About Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. (NYSE: JTX), with more than 6,300 franchised and company-owned offices throughout the United States, is an industry leader providing full service individual federal and state income tax return preparation. Most offices are independently owned and operated. The company is based in Parsippany, New Jersey.
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