After preparing my husband and my joint tax return for years, I decided to hire a reputable firm to do the task since moving to a new state with potential new rules. I called for an appt. and was told to come on in.
The preparer pointed to a chair, did not introduce himself and then proceeded to use an online program (as I had done for years previously). He asked only the questions he read on the screen and copied a few documents. This was a very simple filing with multiple mortgage interest statements and a home refinance.
When asked if we paid points I said yes,"origination fees" to which he replied "those are not points and you cannot deduct them". He's the tax guy, so I thought perhaps I was wrong. End result 1 hr later, taxes done: we have to pay.
Took docs home for spouse to sign, and upon review found a $2700.00 addition error. I called and told him, he made up an excuse for the error and said he would fix it. He called 30 minutes later and said an amended form was completed and now we were goint to receive a refund!
I agreed to bring in signed docs and go over error after work next day. Later that night, I researched "origination fees paid in excess of $5000.00 and found them to be the equivalent to "points" and are deductible if amortized over the term of our loan.
When returning to Jackson Hewitt the next day, preparer was not there, even after making appointment to meet with me. The manager was there and eventually overhears my explanation for being there and identifies he can assist.
He confirms original filing in error, and then confirms that the subsequent amended return also was in error, again making excuses that the mortgage company's statement was hard to read and now needed to amend again, allowing the points deduction this time after I pointed out to him yet another error... this from a reputable firm????
He had to make some calls to see how to cause the computer program to allow him to "hold" the original filing. He then amended the return and now since they made so many errors, I could not e-file but had to mail in my federal return and simple wait weeks for what was now a refund instead of a tax liability.
The state filing went through as an e-file with the original small refund, but now that refund had been amended and was larger, however now I could not mail it in as the two would cross in the mail causing confusion that may jeopardize my first refund check, so I must wait until the first portion of the refund is received before I can mail in the amended return and receive the second, perhaps months later.
Was my $175.00 tax prep fee offered to be partially or wholly returned for this tax prep attempt? For the inconvenience and waste of time caused me? NO
What I was handed in parting was a $10 gift certificate to WALMART, like I can do alot with that... and a business card with a signature on it entitling me to a hundred dollars off next years tax prep... You Have Got To Be Kidding... will I ever come back to this place again? Do I have the word MORON tatooed on my forehead?
I cannot believe the level of ignorance of the employee who prepared the filing in the first place, the lack of simple tax prep procedural knowledge, the inability to do simple math, the lack of education regarding simple refinance terms, the nonchalance at my inconvenience of having to come back to do this over again, and the audacity to not only prepare a return in error once, but then do it again.
In the end... my name was even mispelled.
I have written the company requesting a refund and will make every effort to inform the public that this so called reputable and knowledgable tax service company is not worth the gas it would require to get there.
IF I get audited for this mess, I am standing in front of their doorway asking their potential customers if they would like to hear my story before they "walk in" .
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