Thursday, January 12, 2012

Walmart Offering Free Tax Preparation

Logo of the Internal Revenue ServiceImage via WikipediaStarting this week, free preparation of simple tax forms will be made at over 3,000 Walmart Stores nationwide. Walmart is partnering with H&R Block Inc. and Jackson-Hewitt Tax Service Inc., to set up kiosks inside its stores where customers can have their tax returns completed by trained preparers.

Last year, H&R Block offered free preparation of 1040EZ forms. To retain market share, H&R Block has offered this free service to keep customers coming through it's doors. The company had been struggling over the last few years and this strategy has worked well to keep H&R Block in the fore front of tax preparation.

H&R Block will only offer their free preparation of 1040EZ forms at Wal-Mart through Feb. 29. Block will have kiosks in about 250 Wal-Mart stores. The Feb. 29 cut off point is not much of a inconvenience because the Internal Revenue Service has reported that 40 percent of the 133 million individual returns filed were submitted before the end of February.

Jackson-Hewitt will provide free preparation of the simple forms throughout the tax season at about 2,800 Wal-Mart stores, up from 2,000 last year. Some of its retail outlets may also offer free 1040EZ prep, but doing so is not companywide policy.

While the ways to receive your refund are still the usual ways: direct deposit into a bank account or to a prepaid card, or a mailed check. Direct deposit has gained popularity because it shortens the period to a ten day time period. The I.R.S reported that last year 74 percent of refunds were sent via direct deposit.


For those that are bank less, Walmart is offering prepaid cards that the refunds can be deposited onto. There are fees but if the refund is over $1,000, then no fee is charged. If you have a I.R.S. refund check Walmart is happy to cash it for a charge of $3 for checks up to $1,000 and $6 for checks that range above $1,000.

Walmart has made filing the average tax return very simple and convenient for those that have a simple return. Thanks Walmart.

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