PARSIPPANY, N.J., April 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Time is running out for taxpayers who have yet to file their 2011 income tax returns, as the April 17 deadline is now just one week away. To assist late filers with their returns, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service® today announced that many of its offices and Walmart kiosks across the country will offer extended hours through Tax Day.
According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), millions of taxpayers will file their returns during the final week of the season (with roughly 20 to 25 percent of all taxpayers filing over the final 14 days of the tax season). For those who have yet to file and are now feeling hurried, the key is to be prepared and focused to ensure that the last minute rush does not result in mistakes, penalties or delays on their return. With many locations offering extended hours, Jackson Hewitt professional tax preparers will be on hand mornings, afternoons and evenings to help millions of late filers take the right steps.
"When you rush to finish something, mistakes can happen," said Mark Steber, chief tax officer, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. "In the case of a tax return, mistakes, or even oversights on valuable tax breaks, can cost you money. The good news is that many Jackson Hewitt locations are offering extended hours through Tax Day with professional tax preparers available to help late filers complete their returns correctly and on time. Many taxpayers can still get the most out of their returns."
To assist late filers, Steber shares five last minute tips:
- Have all necessary tax documents – Jackson Hewitt provides an online checklist of items needed for filing a tax return, including wage statements (Form W-2), Form 1099, unemployment compensation received (Form W-2G), Social Security card(s), driver's license(s), 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), total of all cash and non-cash charitable contributions, records to support your deductions and Form HUD-1 or its equivalent;
- Don't overlook money saving credits and deductions – From benefits relating to life changes in 2011, to new and extended tax laws, knowing which credits and deductions can be claimed can help maximize a tax refund or reduce taxes owed. "With so many tax law changes each year, working with a knowledgeable preparer can help taxpayers claim what they qualify for and avoid leaving well earned money on the table," said Steber;
- File electronically – IRS e-file is not only faster than mailing a tax return, but it's also more accurate and includes a confirmation of receipt, so taxpayers know their returns have been received before the deadline. By combining e-filing and direct deposit, taxpayers can receive their refund in as little as 8 to 15 days. Jackson Hewitt offers free e-filing with paid tax preparation;
- Be prepared to pay now, if you owe – If you think you are going to owe on your taxes and are unable to pay the full amount due, it is important to pay as much as possible to reduce interest charges and potential penalties. Speak with your local tax preparer about the various payment options, such as the IRS Installment Agreement, payment by credit card and scheduled direct debit from a checking or savings account; and,
- Ask about extensions – Requesting an extension gives you until October 15, 2012 to file your return. To file an extension, you must create a draft of your income return, which will provide an estimate of your total refund or balance due. If the estimate shows that you owe, all taxes must still be paid by the April 17 deadline. A professional tax preparer can help assess whether there are taxes due and determine whether or not filing an extension is needed.
To find a local Jackson Hewitt office or Jackson Hewitt kiosk in Walmart, and to learn about extended hours of operation, visit www.jacksonhewitt.com or call 1-800-234-1040.
About Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.
Based in Parsippany, NJ, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. is an industry-leading provider of full service individual federal and state income tax preparation, with nearly 6,500 franchised and company-owned locations throughout the United States, including 2,800 located in Walmart stores nationwide. 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.
David G. Weselcouch
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.
CooperKatz & Company
SOURCE Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.