PARSIPPANY, N.J., March 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The clock is winding down, with less than five weeks left until the IRS' tax filing deadline on April 15, also known as 'Tax Day.' As the countdown begins, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service® is sharing with taxpayers the benefits of filing their returns sooner than later. More than 20,000 qualified Jackson Hewitt tax preparers are conveniently accessible at 6,800 locations across the U.S. to help filers accurately prepare their returns.
"Americans lost valuable time this tax season due to the late season start, and they were further set back by the tax form and tax credit delays," said Mark Steber, chief tax officer, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. "But, now there is no reason to wait. Taxpayers who have yet to file should do so as soon as possible, and get ahead of the eleventh-hour dash."
In these last weeks of the tax season, Steber offers five reasons to not delay filing your return any further:
- Increase your current and previous refund amount(s) — Rushing at the last minute to file can often lead to costly mistakes, such as overlooked deductions and credits. Make sure you have enough time to compile all the information and documentation that will help accurately increase your refund or lower your tax liability. You also have until April 15 to file an amended return for up to the three previous tax years. If you feel Uncle Sam may owe you more money on your 2009 income tax year return from an overlooked deduction or credit, don't miss out on what is rightfully owed to you - because after April 15, the 2009 return is locked out from amending.
- Plan your next vacation — Does winter have you thinking of sandy beaches or beautiful vistas? Vacations are a great way to enjoy your tax refund and you can start planning for your next one as soon as you file. With the IRS reporting an average refund amount of approximately $3,000, you can use that money to prepay for your trip, take advantage of great travel deals and look forward to a relaxing vacation.
- Stop identity theft — Tax-related identity theft has been a growing problem that affected taxpayers are often not aware of until they file their returns. While the IRS has dozens of identity screens in place to protect taxpayers, the best way to protect yourself is to file your return early. When you file, you block your social security number from being used to file a fraudulent return. As soon as you have all of your tax documents, make sure to file before someone else does.
- Lower taxes by increasing your retirement fund — Contributing to your retirement fund is a great way to lower your 2012 tax liability. There is still time left to put up to $5,000 ($6,000 if age 50 or older) into a traditional IRA.
- Avoid sequester setbacks — If you are planning to file for an extension, there will likely be less IRS staff to help you after April 15. The downside of keeping staffing levels the same for the remainder of the tax season is that the IRS will need to catch up with its required budget cuts. As a result, late filers may experience a noticeable slowdown if trying to reach IRS phone support.
Steber added, "On average 75 percent of taxpayers get a tax refund. But, if you are among the 25 percent that owes additional tax dollars, you can still benefit from filing sooner because you have more time to save money in advance of the April 15 due date."
About Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. is an industry-leading provider of full service individual federal and state income tax preparation, with 6,800 franchised and company-owned locations throughout the United States, including 2,800 located in Walmart stores nationwide, and more than 400 Sears stores in the United States and Puerto Rico for the 2013 tax season. Jackson Hewitt Tax Service® also offers an online tax preparation product at www.JacksonHewittOnline.com. For more information, or to locate your neighborhood Jackson Hewitt® office, visit www.JacksonHewitt.com or call 1-800-234-1040. Jackson Hewitt can also be found on Facebook and Twitter, or check out Jackson Hewitt's "On the Street" video series, hosted by Chief Tax Officer Mark Steber and available on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/jacksonhewitt.
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SOURCE Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.