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Customer says Jackson Hewitt would not honor "refund guarantee" following tax return error

Jackson Hewitt agrees to resolve customer dispute
Posted at 3:00 PM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-16 18:49:42-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Jackson Hewitt is the second largest tax preparation service in the United States.

Connie Smith, a Colorado Springs resident says the company made an error on her taxes last year and then refused to honor their warranty promising customers a "maximum refund".

"Every year, I purchase the worry-free guarantee which states Jackson Hewitt will give their customer a 100% refunds if they don't get the customer a maximum federal return," Smith said.

Connie Smith
Connie Smith

Smith says she's filed her taxes every year with Jackson Hewitt for the last five years.

Last year at the start of the pandemic, she spent $430 to file her taxes at the N. Circle Dr. Jackson Hewitt Office. She says that price included a warranty that offers customers a full refund plus $100 if the company fails to get the customer the maximum return.

After Smith's taxes were prepared and submitted, she noticed her upcoming refund amount was about $4,000 less than it should have been, despite her income remaining the same.

Because of COVID-19, Smith said she was unable to watch her taxes being prepared in the office last year. Instead, she and many customers had to simply drop them off with their tax preparation company.

"I emailed Jackson Hewitt that same night that they did the taxes and said there may be an error," Smith said. "The gentleman emailed me back and said I was looking to closely at the taxes."

Smith then says she called the corporate office and Colorado Springs-based district office.

"The district office called me and said there was nothing wrong with my taxes," Smith said. "I said I'm going to take them to a third party tax preparer."

Smith took her taxes to "Your Tax Lady" for a second review in Colorado Springs.

Your Tax Lady
Your Tax Lady

Sure enough, an error was discovered and Smith had to pay to have them amended.

The IRS accepted her amended return and Smith requested her money back from Jackson Hewitt.

"I met all the criteria for the warranty, yet Jackson Hewitt refuses to honor it," Smith said. "I've made several phone calls. I have filed a Better Business Bureau complaint which they ignored."

Smith even had a demand letter sent from an attorney. She says that too didn't end with the result she was looking to receive.

Smith alleges the company did offer a $175 refund, but that's not what she believes she was entitled to receive under the warranty terms.

"I told Jackson Hewitt that I was going to call the media," Smith said.

News 5 Investigates reached out to Jackson Hewitt via email to address Smith's case.

Smith says she then received a phone call from Jackson Hewitt to resolve her matter and provide her with a refund.

She says she's grateful for the resolution, but is disappointed that it took a news media inquiry to get to this point.

"They would not take responsibility," Smith said prior to Jackson Hewitt reaching back out to her to resolve the case.

A spokesperson for Jackson Hewitt released the following statement to News 5:

At Jackson Hewitt, we're committed to providing our clients the best customer service and guarantees. While we can't discuss the details of an individual's tax return, we stand behind our 100% Accuracy Guarantee that covers penalties and interest. We are pleased to have worked directly with this valued client to resolve her concern and we look forward to working with Connie Smith again.

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