Clip coupons, save on tax preparation

Consumer Reports News: March 03, 2007 04:09 PM

Penny-pinchers, add this to your coupon file: A $25 coupon off tax-prep fees.

I found the coupon on the back of my Stop and Shop supermarket register tape the other day, next to an ad for a local Greek restaurant. A franchise office of Jackson Hewitt, the storefront competitor to H&R Block, is making the offer until October 15 of this year. That means it's even good for folks who need to file an extension.

When I called the local Jackson Hewitt, the manager confirmed the offer. "Say your bill from us was $150," he said. "We'd take $25 off the top." He added that at his franchise, a typical 1040 with a Schedule A for itemized deductions cost $150 to $160 to prepare.

The offer wasn't being made nationally, he said. Rather, it's up to local franchise owners to decide how to promote their businesses.

What this means for you: If you plan to use a storefront operation, ask what the office would likely charge for a return like yours. Then ask about any current promotions. You may be surprised what you find--and where you find it!

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