• Report: #423109
Complaint Review:

Jackson Hewitt Tax Service

  • Submitted: Wed, February 11, 2009
  • Updated: Sat, February 28, 2009

  • Reported By:Port Royal South Carolina
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service
14 Savannah Hwy Ste 11/12 Beaufort, South Carolina U.S.A.

Jackson Hewitt Tax Service R.A.L is a big L.I.E Beaufort South Carolina

*Consumer Suggestion: A better understanding of the RAL

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I usually go to H&R Block to have my taxes prepared, but I moved in the late spring of last year, and where I live, the Jackson Hewitt office is closer. So I went out on a limb, and decided that I'd give them a try. The preparation went smoothly, and I opted for the Refund Anticipation Loan (RAL).

My total for the preparation fees came to $400.95, which is a bit steep, but nonetheless, I did not mind paying these fees, because i needed the money promptly, and as we all know, there's a price to pay for convenience. January 31st was the day that I filed my taxes; February 1st, it was accepted by the IRS; February 2nd, I was informed by the automated 1-866 number that the bank denied my RAL, and a paper check would be issued in 8-15 days.

Now- I have a bit of a problem with this. why was I denied? I can't seem to get an answer from anyone. In the past two years, I've gotten the money back in the form of an RAL, the very next day, with no problem. What is the bank's decision based on? It can't be my credit score, because my score is in the 700's.

It's definitely got me annoyed, because I could have gone to a small, independently owned office here in town, and had my taxes prepared for $65. Or, I could have gone online and done it myself for free. Either of these two options that I had would have left me waiting about two weeks for the IRS to direct deposit the money into my bank account. But as I already stated, I needed the money faster, so I decided against those options.

Now I have to wait for the Santa Barbara Bank and Trust to recieve my money from the IRS, print a paper check, and send it to the local office. When it arrives there, They're supposed to contact me, and then I can go pick it up. I gave them my bank account and routing numbers- why aren't they direct deposting the money into my account, which is what I gave them that information for? It all sounds a bit fishy to me, and from all of the complaints I've seen, it seems like the bank doesn't even have the funds to "front" the money to people.

And the funniest thing is- they're referring to my refund check that I will be receiving as an "assisted refund check". How is it assisted? It's the money coming directly from the IRS. Is it assisted because they're having it deposited into thier account first? I've been informed that there will be a $29.95 processing fee for them handling my money for me, when I requested direct deposit to begin with.

In the end, it's as simple as this- Jackson Hewitt should not falsely offer a "rapid refund" if they don't have the resources to supply this service. I paid SIX times the amount of what it would have cost me to file with the local independent office, and in the end I will receive the money in the same amount of time, if it doesn't actually take longer. It's a gimmick, a way for them to make more money off of you, by promising something they cannot deliver.

I'll never use Jackson Hewitt again, that's for sure. I'll stick with my good ol' H&R Block, or do them myself. I can't say that I enjoy this ride that I've been taken on. It's not what I signed up for.

Port Royal, South Carolina

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/11/2009 05:36 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/jackson-hewitt-tax-service/beaufort-south-carolina-29906/jackson-hewitt-tax-service-ral-is-a-big-lie-beaufort-south-carolina-423109. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Suggestion

A better understanding of the RAL

AUTHOR: Calmdownguys... - (U.S.A.)

I would like to take a minute to clarify any confusion with the RAL (Refund Anticipation Loan).

For starters, as for my references, I have worked at Liberty Tax Service going on my second year now. In my first year, I processed over 300+ returns, with 100% accuracy.

The refund anticipation loan, is a loan, NOT your refund. The IRS uses Santa Barabara Bank and Trust to process these loans, it is NOT up to the individual tax office to decide what bank they would like to use. THE LOAN IS BASED ON JUST A FEW CREDENTIALS. We are not 100% sure EXACTLY what those credentials are, but I know the Loan's I've seen denied are people that owe child support, student loan debt and back taxes owed (Prior year taxes not paid). IF YOU ARE DENIED A LOAN, YOU CAN CALL THE DEBT COLLECTIONS TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH AND TO WHO YOU OWE MONEY.

When you go to get your taxes prepared, the preparer should inform you that this is a loan, not your refund, and needs to be approved by SBBT.

They should also tell you that IF YOUR LOAN IS DENIED, then you are automatically bumped down to the next fastest return, in Liberty's case it is the Refund Transfer, which is generally 8-15 days. (2008 tax year has been taking a bit longer)

Once you choose a RAL, it CANNOT be taken out, backtracked, cancelled, whatever. Once it's in, it's in. Not you, Liberty Tax Service, Jackson Hewitt, or the IRS cannot do anything about this. You have to wait till the IRS releases your refund via check and mail it to you.

I agree the fees are really high to get a RAL, or an IRAL (instant refund anticiaption loan) (a portion of your refund coming back as a loan within an hour). These services are out there for those who need money now!!! If you can wait 2 weeks, WAIT! If you need to pay a bill tomorrow, go for it.

I believe that tax preparers should discuss this with their clients BEFORE they sign anything. If they are not, do not go back there next year.

AS A TAXPREPARER, I DISCUSS EVERYTHING WITH YOU BEFORE YOU SIGN. If you have a question, I don't beat around the bush. With the economy in the dump like it is, I think everyone needs to be on top of their game, especially this year.

I hope at least one person reads this and finds it useful, or at least clarifies some hazy questions they had.

If anyone has a specific tax question, I am always looking for people to help, so shoot me an email to sparkzguild@hotmail.com and I will respond fairly quickly.

Liberty Tax Service
Tax Preparer
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