• Report: #325009
Complaint Review:

Jackson Hewitt Tax Service

  • Submitted: Thu, April 10, 2008
  • Updated: Tue, February 09, 2010

  • Reported By:Jackson Michigan
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service
1700 W. Michigan Ave Jackson, Michigan U.S.A.

Jackson Hewitt Tax Service "Human Error" leaves tax payer out $1320.00 Jackson Michigan

*Consumer Comment: Jackson Hewitt needs to hire more competent help

*Consumer Comment: Unemployment and taxes...

*Consumer Comment: Withholding on unemployment

*Consumer Suggestion: Not their fault

*Author of original report: Robert: Re read the complaint

*Consumer Comment: It's Their fault?

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I'm a single mom, who recently became unemployed. So in order to "save" my house from foreclosure, I get my W-2 and my 1099 and head off to the Jackson Hewitt. Now normally I go to H&R Block, but a friend told me she always got more money back from Jackson Hewitt, and to try them. So I did.

When I arrived at the "Office" I sat down, handed the lady my forms, and started talking to her about my taxes. We made casual chit chat while she typed and did her thing. I asked her, "I didn't file taxes on my unemployment, I really needed the money, is this going to effect my tax return greatly?" She looked at the document saw that it was for a little over $5,000 and said "Nooo, you're a single mom, you'll get credits." Feeling relieved she continued to type in my information and in a mere 20 minutes I was told I would be receiving over $4,000 back from the IRS and nearly $700 from the state. Delighted I took the next day check (loan) which was going cost me, but like I said I had a foreclosue about to happen. So, I thanked her and was on my way.

The next day I returned, picked up my check that was issued off a place in CA and went directly to my bank. I cashed the check, and went to Western Union $3,000 to Country Wide Home loans. I felt really good that I wasn't going to have to explain to my 8yr old what foreclosure means.

A few weeks passed and I didn't see my state return. I called the 1-800 number they provided and kept hearing a recording that there was no new information. Finally I went back to the office and asked the lady and she couldn't give me any information. So I finally called the State of Michigan to see what was going on.
I was told that I had a hold on the check because the amout of the return was wrong. I aksed him how this could be. He told me to look at line 19 on my return, what did it say? "Nothing" He informed me that it should say $5, 085 which was the amount of my unemployment payments. But since it was not claimed they were adjusting the return. I confidently informed him, that I had a "professional" do the return and was he sure?? He assured me that the 10 years he had been doing his job, he was sure of the error.

I immediately drove to the tax office. I met with the same lady who filed my taxes and she said....."Hmmm, yeah they weren't filed." Well DUH lady. So now what. She ASSURED me that since the state corrected the problem that was all there was to do. I had a hard time believeing that the federal gov't wouldn't want a cut of my money... she made a call, and said, "nope, its all fine don't worry." I left but still thinking that this was not right.

A few hours passed and I noticed I had 2 missed calls on my cell phone. Sure enough, it was her tellling me that the error was caught and as long as I sent in $1320 to the IRS by April 15th I should be fine. They offered to file an amendment for me for free, and wanted me to call them. I called... I called the 1-800 number I wanted to talk to a manager. So I got a hold of the manager who told me it was "Human error" and there was nothing he could do for me but file an amendment.

I went home and called the 1-800 number again. I wanted HIS manager. They said and I quote "Sorry, we can't give out that information" I said "excuse me?" Nope no name was given. I contacted the BBB and SURPRISE they are not registered. I contacted the 1-800 number again and said I wanted to file a complaint, so she took my complaint, and it's been over a month, I haven't heard anything.

Yesterday I called the IRS to find out what I had to do, did I file an extension, or could they wait because the BBB said to take them to small claims court. The man at the IRS laughed at me and said..."I have worked her for many many years, you will never find a judge that will grant you that. YOU owe the IRS and that is that." I owe the IRS? WHAT??? So I down loaded form 9465 which is a installment agreement where I have to fork out $43 to get the agreement arranged. OH and the Gov't stimulus payment we're all suppoed to get? Not me, because now I owe the IRS. So when you go to have your taxes done, ask about "human Error" ask what they will cover. The "Gold Option" that Jackson Hewitt has all over their literature, when I asked about that I was told they don't offer that service any more....gee I wonder why.

Jackson, Michigan

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/10/2008 07:44 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/jackson-hewitt-tax-service/jackson-michigan-49202/jackson-hewitt-tax-service-human-error-leaves-tax-payer-out-132000-jackson-michigan-325009. 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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#1 Consumer Comment

Jackson Hewitt needs to hire more competent help

AUTHOR: ljordan927 - (United States of America)

I also went to Jackson Hewitt to file my 2007 taxes and I had a 1099 as well.  I went to them specifically because I had the 1099 and wanted to make sure my taxes were done correctly.  The person who did my taxes ALSO 'forgot' to enter my 1099 info and I now owe the IRS $1300.  Now to one of the others comments about it being something we owed the IRS regardless, I get that and am fully capable of understanding that.  However, when you go to a professional place to get your taxes done and are made to feel secure that it will be done correctly only to find out that you owe the IRS 2 years later, it will make your blood boil.  I dont have $1300 sitting around to pay the IRS.  I would have much rather given them the money when I had it at tax time and been done with it.  If it is my responsibility to go through my taxes AFTER a supposedly professional tax person did them, why the HECK did i go there???  Bottom line is that jackson hewitt needs to find more competent human beings to do taxes for the public.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Unemployment and taxes...

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

Robert in Buffalo, you said: You may be correct regarding your STATE income taxes and state regulations, but the IRS does require that you declare the CORRECT number of exemptions on wages and unemployment benefits for federal income taxes.

I have to disagree.

From the IRS Publication 919 (2008), How Do I Adjust My Tax Withholding?

You should try to have your withholding match your actual tax liability. If not enough tax is withheld, you will owe tax at the end of the year and may have to pay interest and a penalty. If too much tax is withheld, you will lose the use of that money until you get your refund.
Always check your withholding if there are personal or financial changes in your life or changes in the law that might change your tax liability."

The IRS encourages you to claim sufficient exemptions to balance what you owe vs. what you pay. They do not require you to declare a "correct" number of exemptions. Of course, there are provisions for fraud, but this is not the case. If you feel different, please cite your source.

For Devvyn, sorry, but you got very bad advice from JH. From the IRS website:

Topic 418 - Unemployment Compensation

"Unemployment compensation is includible (sic) in gross income. You must report unemployment compensation on line 19 of Form 1040, line 13 of Form 1040A, or line 3 of Form 1040EZ.
If you received unemployment compensation during the year, you should receive Form 1099-G (PDF) showing the amount you were paid. Any unemployment compensation received during the year must be included in your income, unless you contributed to the fund.

Unemployment benefits from a private fund (or, in some cases, public fund) to which you voluntarily contribute are taxable only if the amounts you receive are more than your total payments into the fund. This taxable amount is not unemployment compensation; it is reported as other income on Form 1040 (PDF)."

Anything you received in unemployment compensation is taxable. Because you didn't have taxes taken out means you have to pay more when you filed. As you found out, even if JH did your tax return, you are responsible for all the taxes. Unfortunately, JH screwed up and screwed up badly. Anyone with basic knowledge of income tax preparation should have known Unemployment benefits are taxable.

Do they have any kind of guarantee regarding their accuracy of the return? At the very least, they should provide you with a refund of your tax preparation/filing/"loan" fees. I would go back to the office, demand to speak to the office manager, and have a discussion regarding their "human error." If they refuse, you have the option of small claims court.

Good luck!!
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#3 Consumer Comment

Withholding on unemployment

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

""Clearly you did not read the complaint properly. I filed my 1099 (Which IS unemployment) I gave it to her, the only thing I didn't do is claim taxes, it is NOT required. I claimed the income. It would have no bearing on the fact that she 'forgot' to file it.""

You may be correct regarding your STATE income taxes and state regulations, but the IRS does require that you declare the CORRECT number of exemptions on wages and unemployment benefits for federal income taxes. Technically, you violated IRS rules by NOT declaring a with-holding for your employment benifits. Will you be prosecuted for this-not likely.

I'm old enough to remember the "good ole days" when folks would complete a w-4 with 0 exemptions and then get a large "refund" check after filing their income tax. The IRS changed the rules some years ago and it is required to declare the correct number of exemptions for more accurate with-holding.
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Not their fault

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

Actually in reality it is the taxpayer's problem/fault not the company. It is the responsibilty of the taxpayer to ensure that ALL information on their return is true and correct. Hence why there is a penalties of perjury statment that you sign.

When you have your taxes prepared you should be sure it is done correctly before filing them.

Also, it is the responsibility of the taxpyer to ensure that they had enough taxes withheld to cover their taxes.

$5,000 WORTH OF TAXABLE INCOME AND NO TAXES WITHHELD? that should of been in a sign in the first place!
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#5 Author of original report

Robert: Re read the complaint

AUTHOR: Devvyn213 - (U.S.A.)

Clearly you did not read the complaint properly. I filed my 1099 (Which IS unemployment) I gave it to her, the only thing I didn't do is claim taxes, it is NOT required. I claimed the income. It would have no bearing on the fact that she "forgot" to file it.

Your comment is posed as I didn't file it and I am trying to be "sneaky" which I am not.
The information was there, she neglected to do her job. FILE ALL W-2's 1099's and so on.
I understand the return would have been different, but had she done the job properly this wouldn't have happened.

Bottom line when you claim to be a "professional" you act professional, when there is an error on your part, you correct it. It was in no way shape or form my fault that she forgot to key in the numbers.
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#6 Consumer Comment

It's Their fault?

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

Jackson Hewit did not rip you out of $1320, it would have been money you owed the IRS anyways. If it was reported on your taxes you would have received a refund of about $2600-$2700, instead of $4000. No tax preparer can make taxes go away if you owe them.

You stated you "I didn't file taxes on my unemployment, I really needed the money, is this going to effect my tax return greatly?"

It is not Jackson Hewit's fault that you didn't want to include your unemployment. Even if she stated it would effect your tax return, would you have included it since you "really needed the money"?

On the Stimulus Package(Rebate Check). If you owe money you are correct you won't get it. But it gets deducted from the money that you owed.

There is no RipOff here, the only thing that happened is that instead of paying the $1300 when you filed the taxes(and receiveing a lower refund), you got the bigger refund but now owe the money back. The end result is the same.

The only thing that Small Claims court would do is possibly get the tax preparation fee and the $43 dollars returned to you. It won't get JH to pay the tax for you.
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