JACKSON HEWITT Franchise Complaints

UnhappyFranchisee.Com – Are you familiar with the Jackson Hewitt tax franchise opportunity?  What do you think?  You’re invited to share a comment below.

According to the Jackson Hewitt website, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. (NYSE: JTX) is an industry leader providing full service individual federal and state income tax return preparation through more than 6,400 franchised and company-owned offices throughout the United States.

After its rapid rise to the #2 position in the industry, Jackson Hewitt has had some rough years and myriad problems.  According to Wikipedia:

“The 2007 Department of Justice investigation, poorly constructed financial products, and a company-wide tax law compliance initiative that many insiders believe did more harm than good combined to erase nearly 50% of the company’s market share over merely four years.

“Additionally, the company negotiated out of a default on its debt in May 2009 and technically defaulted for several days in May 2010 (though an agreement with creditors was announced within one week of the ‘default’).

“During the 2010 tax season, Jackson Hewitt was not able to provide its flagship refund anticipation loan product in 50% of its stores, placing it at a operational and marketing competitive disadvantage. The company’s current agreement with creditors requires that it secure refund anticipation loan funding adequate for 100% of its stores by September 30, 2010 and that written commitments from lending institutions be made available to creditors by November 15, 2010.  Failure to do either will place the company once more in default.

charts “Finally, in July 2010, the Internal Revenue Service announced its intention to discontinue the provision of the debt indicator to tax return preparers.

“The debt indicator is a significant part of the provision of refund anticipation loan funding and its lack of availability is expected to increase the cost of such products to consumers and decrease the level of their availability.

“This IRS change significantly reduces the probability that Jackson Hewitt will be able to comply with its renegotiated loan covenants as discussed above. The stock currently trades below one dollar*.”

* The Jackson Hewitt stock price is listed at $1.11 today

Unhappy Franchisee has received numerous complaints about the rival Liberty Tax Service (see LIBERTY TAX SERVICE Franchise Complaints).

Is Jackson Hewitt franchise have worse problems? 

How is the franchisor doing in helping Jackson Hewitt franchisees weather the storm of operational & marketing challenges, and adverse publicity?

Is this simply a franchise (Stock?  Tax preparer?) to avoid at all costs?


Company responses, clarifications or rebuttals welcome.  Contact the author/site admin at UnhappyFranchisee[at]

286 thoughts on “JACKSON HEWITT Franchise Complaints

  • Up Hill Battle

    Sure Ray M, act before it is too late. It is the opportunity of a lifetime. It sounds like the same strategy that everyone has, sell as many franchises as possible.

  • Guest

    Ray M. What a great franchise pitch! “Jackson Hewitt is fresh out of bankruptcy, has a new logo, and a fresh crop of gullible inexperienced franchisees! Get in quick, mortgage your house, buy’m up before the next bankruptcy!”

    Plus… they are “in talks” with Walgreens about installing 8,000 kiosks, which is exciting because everyone gets their taxes done at the drug store, and they’ll surely be in place by this tax season.

    Ray, I’ve been searching for the right opportunity, and “recent bankruptcy” and “in talks with respected retailer” “new management” and “flooding the market with franchises” are some of my top criteria. Where do I send a check, or should I just bring a suitcase of cash?

  • Franchizee

    It sounds like it is too good to be true! We all know what that means!

    Another dog and pony show. They have not opened anything new in my market nor a market nearby my home. It is not true in my area, just the same locations.

  • Wow, I lay my opinion and you year into me? It takes money and risk to make it. If your scared to lose this might not be your calling, New York Life is always hiring.

  • “Wow, I lay my opinion and you year into me?”

    Ray M. sorry for yearing into you but… your opinion is funny funny funny. “Hey, they may have bankrupted their business, but look at the snazzy new logo!”

    I laughed so hard by eyes were yearing up!

  • Liberty tax zees are scared,….I can smell it from here….nothing like paying 3% royalties for the first 3 years…what are you paying? lol

  • Liberty tax Franchise is the biggest scam….they are going downhill. Jackson Hewitt is still the #2 largest in the country…..and growing real fast…don’t be scurrrred.

  • John Barilla

    haha… scared of Jackson Hewitt… Too funny….

    Over the last 5 years all of JH closed in my territories, I am sure I had a lot to do with taking all their customers. I am sure they are still doing good in SanFran, Franchizee and Bill’s territories because we had loser zees competing against you there.

    Bigger than HR Block by 2020!!!! , Ok back to counting my money, averaged 8 returns in each of my offices today….

  • SanFranDan

    ^^^Give it up, Barf villa. You keep calling everyone “losers”. Too bad that’s your only vocabulary. YOU ARE THE LOSER the way you speak to others. You sir are a huge asshole. Keep it up, asshole. You keep calling everyone losers. Somehow in your sick, twisted mind, that’ll make you feel better. Only we know the real truth. Being away from that disgusting Liberty Tax Service was the absolute BEST thing I ever did. Someday you will find that to be true too. But you’ll never admit it. C ya loser.

  • 5 days into the season and JH is up 300% in sales. I have already processed 45 returns on hold in 5 days @ an average $230 per return (my rent for the year is almost paid lol at $900 a month). It’s gonna be a great year!..I expect to finish conservatively at about 300+ for my first year! Jackson Hewitt all day baby!

  • I am also a new jh zee and the company has done a complete 180, it’s not the same company as 2010, how it plays out we will see, but for now at least they got there shit together and have an aggressive attitude encouraging and backing us to open next to Liberty locations (JH is offering corporate subsidies if your within a 1 mile radius of a Liberty) the plan could work or completely backfire.

  • Way to go JH, I hope you kick the crap out of Liberty!!! Keep us posted on your success!!

  • Really? You just can’t be serious.

  • I am a new JH zee and I think the jury is still out on how the new concept is going to fare. I am just happy they rebounded from bankruptcy and are back in the mix, I agree with Erik they need to fire all the old guard and keeping moving forward with the fresh new concepts, they need to follow H&R Blocks mode with the clean organized stores. As far Liberty Tax goes there territory model is horrible and confusing and there marketing is zilch, no TV, no Radio, I mean Guerilla marketing can only go so far…I see H&R Block staying at the top with Jackson Hewitt a close #2 and Liberty Tax continue it’s mediocre existence.

  • It’s official Jackson Hewitt is back stronger than ever, we are the only ones offering $500 refund advance loans, next year there talking about $1000 RAL. H&R Block will stay #1 in my eyes but dirty grungy Liberty’s days are numbered. I always knew Liberty Tax was good if your into inner city consumers but they can’t touch JH. Thanks to our beast CEO Dave Prokupek, he is a genius among CEO’s so for the record I am drinking JH kool aid because my bank account doesn’t lie.

  • John Barilla


    Yes you are the only one offering $500 refund advance loans since Liberty is doing $1000 to $3000. You are back after 6 years of losing market share and offices. Liberty has more store fronts. You guys have 2800 Walmart location with crazy rents that were increased and the reason HR block got out and Liberty is mostly out as it makes no sense. All the JH in my territories have closed down and I have picked up all their clients. Liberty is on its way to being bigger than HR Block by 2020.

  • guest2

    Ha! Ha! Ha!Ha! Too funny.

  • Guess barilla is one of the. scratch that he is the only one out of the thousands of franchisees that is here supporting liberty obviously Liberty sucks.

  • I love his comments because if it weren’t for him the site would be boring.

  • Liberty Tax is awful! Ghetto baby momma EITC schedule C fraud return driven business. I wouldn’t operate one for free. Btw Liberty is NOT offering RAL this year so stop the B.S.

  • guest2

    Wrong. Have loan program.

  • Ok, with the season almost done and as a new JH zee I can say without uncertainty it’s been a good 1st year, processed 300+ returns and it all had to do with not taking one day off, operating a clean new store and providing 100% customer service. That being said JH had as much too play with my success as the new ceiling tile. I think I would have done great if I was any of the big 3, I believe it’s all in what you put into it. I think people here miss the point, no single franchise is perfect, so many variables go into a successful business. I have seen all 3 do good and bad depending on location, owner and experience. All in all I just hope this JH resurgence is not a fad and we continue growth because I see s bright future at my location at least. Wishing you all sucess (even Liberty Tax lol)

  • Last thought….biggest mistake Liberty made was not advertise heavily after JH was on the ropes in 2010 or even offer to buy them out, they really had a chance to move in for the kill with a KO blow but instead allowed JH to to regroup and reorganize…I guess Mr. Hewitt is not as smart as people think…a chance of a lifetime blown, and now we’re back on national TV growing again like it never happened. God bless the american consumer and there short limited memory..that and a big private equity firm backing you up. lol.

  • Has anyone looked into the new franchise, Happy Tax? Interesting business model. All they need to add is tax resolution services and I think they have a one-two punch combination. Any thoughts?

  • Two words for you. Identity thief. Clients who use CPA’s won’t meet in coffee shops with strangers who say they are cpa’s. How would the franchisees cover themselves? Drop off and pick up needs to be connected to an office. Won’t work.

  • Would anyone advise buying into a JH business? How much does an average store make in profits? I’ve never had a business before and I don’t want to make a decision I will regret. When is the best time of the year to buy? Is it 3 months before the new tax season? For the pros who bought into the business and are doing well, could you please recommend the due diligence company you used? I’m looking for a company that is familiar with JH. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  • Liz..JH is getting better and stronger each tax season definitely don’t buy a Liberty office !

  • Thanks Mike!
    Can anyone please help with the other questions I have? If you’d rather send a private note, please let me know.

  • Mike did’nt own a Liberty office. Tax franchises are the same. Get advice on the agreement from a lawyer and a CPA. Don’t expect to make a profit the first year unless you buy existing store. Watch out for leases and agreements. Get a professional to review them before you sign. If you do buy in, get your line of credit before you open. Signing a lease that’s too long can be serious trouble. Good luck no matter you decide.

  • Hi Liz,

    Not sure who guest2 is and what he/she thinks they know about me but definitely NO TAX FRANCHISEES ARE THE SAME! Let’s look at a couple of factors:

    Block has very little franchises available because they have the most well known brand, that being said for better or for worse. They are also by far more expensive both in purchasing and fees. They also have the most experienced tax pros across the board They created the tax industry. They also have extensive franchise support and run TONS of commercials! Most importantly THEY HAVE VERY HAPPY FRANCHISEES AS THIS SITE SUPPORTS!

    Jackson Hewitt has had some reorganization and some challenges starting from when they FIRED John Hewitt (Liberty Tax owner) even until now. However, they seem to have stabilized. They have brand awareness depending on which city you are in. I am not sure what they charge for franchise fees etc. I have met several franchisees and they seem to be very content on the direction of the company. I would call them personally if I were you to get their input. Most seem to be very HAPPY as witnessed by the very small amounts of concern on this site.

    As for Liberty, they have next to nothing when it comes to advertising except for sending out mailers to lost clients and small firms that they would like to purchase. You can hire some people to dance in costumes but usually (unfortunately) that type of employee is likely going to have you spending your time with different agencies, unemployment and child support etc. not always but in many cases so, especially in the summer when Liberty says you will likely be enjoying those months off in the Bahamas or elsewhere because you are rolling in dough! Anyway, stay away from these morons!

    Now you could become your own firm, there are lots of software choices, and it really is rather easy and it will cost you significantly less money. You can find out through the IRS various demographic information on your area as to where the returns are, but I would just hop in the car and drive around and plot your competitors locations and their demographics on a map, considering that most of your clientele will likely come from a 2-3 mile radius. I hope this helps, whichever you decide to do keep us posted, you are always welcome here to ask more questions! Good luck and do your due diligence.

  • FormerZee

    Two words: Secular Decline

    The retail tax industry has been losing share since the great recession. All of the new customer growth is going online because it’s cheaper and millennials are comfortable with tech. Even HRB is losing share, but not nearly as fast as Jackson Hewitt. Liberty cannot sustain their office “growth” either. I wouldn’t touch these franchises with anyone’s money.

    Without a viable Refund Anticipation Loan that gets people at least $3k+ in a day or less, this industry will remain the walking dead.

    If you REALLY want to go into this business, then become an independent tax professional or an EA. There is PLENTY of tax software companies out there with REASONABLE prices on their software with NO ROYALTIES. Go to an IRS Convention and you’ll meet plenty of them.

    Why would you pay a franchisor 20%+ in royalties + other BS fees to be in an industry that’s in secular decline??

  • Thank you Former zee for your advise. Its really hard to make money if you are a franchisee. I attendend a Liberty discovery day and after going through their franchise discluser document, I found that you cannot break-even within the 1st year yet one to spend over 40,000 for initial franchise fee. So Liz, it’s better you try on your own or try 1040taxbiz, Federal Direct or the American tax Office.

  • Conrad Mangapit

    This message is addressed to all Jackson Hewitt franchisees in Maryland. You already have the problem of staffing up with enough qualified tax preparers who are licensed by the state of Maryland but are you aware of another problem that is looming around the corner? – when the state of Maryland starts enforcing the $15 an hour minimum wage law. I am a former Maryland-based Jackson Hewitt employee and I believe that most franchisees will have extreme difficulties paying $15 an hour to their tax preparers.

  • guest

    Why? A productive tax preparer should make at least $20 to $25 per hour with bonus.

  • Horrible service. Nightmare experience. My preparer left off my healthcare information ,then filed an unnecessary Ammendment, then waited 3 business days to FAX the ONLY FORM REQUESTED by the IRS.
    The owner a Mr.Piper was called 3/16.. Told me he would “look” into it & give me a call back 3\19..
    No call received.. I called his cell , Fairview office & Dickson office leaving several msgs. Still NO CONTACT from him.
    Filed 2/3/18
    Filed Ammendment 2/27/18
    Gave the irs letter & fax info to be faxed to IRS 3/2/18 @10 am … Was told ” i will take care of this RIGHT NOW , dont worry have a great wknd .

    Tax preparer did NOT FAX until 3/5/18
    As of today 3/21/18 we have no updated information On WMR & no clue as to where or what is happening with our refund. The owners “unavailable”…the preparers are “unavailable”.
    We have been completely screwed over by this company & when asked for a complete refund of $326 for their fees , we have been avoided.
    Their policy is ” 100% accuracy”
    We have been going through this for 7 weeks & still have no information on our refund.
    I will not stop asking or calling for our fees to be refunded and will make it my mission to search all advertising for this company. I will rate , review & comment my experience on every site i find. Im also filing an official complaint with the IRS for the negligence of the 2 tax “PROFESSIONALS” , & the Jaxkson Hewitt Franchise leasing office, the BBB, & the Dickson Chamber of Commerce will all be receiving a letter of this experience.

  • Mattie curry

    Hello ,im in need of help,last year i went ti jw,kennett mo well the person made alot of mistakes, i was gonna do amendment with him till he tried recharging me 100 to get them ready ,well this year i got charged for not having my amendment done ..i tried to contact the office and the person was rude and didnt seem to care just asking who i was and telling me he was his boss,i looked up a # well got a Facebook messaging well ot ened up being his partner please help, email for me mattie curry, is [redacted]

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