Walmart has always been looking for ways to increase productivity and one of its main agendas has been; increasing the scope of its financial services for consumers. They do this mainly by offering convenience and cheaper rates for services that were traditionally offered by banks in the hopes that customers will channel the savings they make into buying their products. Let’s have a look at ‘Filing Taxes at Walmart’.
In January 2012, Walmart announced that in addition to its in-store Money Centers it would be introducing H&R Block and Jackson-Hewitt Kiosks to over 3000 Walmart department store locations. The kiosks were meant to offer several tax filing options including free tax filing for those using the 1040EZ form.
The 1040EZ form
You may wonder why the 1040EZ forms are filed free of charge. The reason is simply that they are easy to file and are common among single people and couples who do not claim to have dependents and this form also does not itemize deductions. I think it’s clear to see why they let them get away with not paying for the service.
If you are wondering how this benefits Walmart you are not the only one. The important thing to Walmart is that it gets as many people as possible to go into their department stores, and as they wait for their tax preparation, they would most likely be exploring the store and this, in turn, boosts their sales.
Jackson Hewitt and H&R Block Kiosks
Jackson Hewitt gives a Maximum Refund Guarantee and a Lifetime Accuracy Guarantee. It also offers free federal form 1040EZ filing all through the tax season. H&R Block on the other hand only offers free form 1040EZ filing to the end of February.
To use the expert kiosks you can make an appointment on the Walmart Website if you want to have a one-on-one meeting with an expert, or you could also drop off your documents. Some of the documents you require include:
- Social Security number.
- Driver’s license.
- The previous year’s Federal and State tax returns.
- Income verification statements.
- Dependents Social Security numbers
Walmart Tax Prep Services
Walmart tax prep services can go a long way in getting you ready for tax season. It offers a lot of learning material, to begin with. For those who are tech-savvy, Walmart has laptops and Software available online. With the right software, filing taxes is easy and cheaper since you don’t have to pay any service charge to experts. Jackson Hewitt for instance charges anywhere ranging from $59 onwards.
Filing taxes digitally is the most convenient method since the software guides you through the whole process. Furthermore, there is no need for paperwork which can sometimes pose a privacy risk if it gets into the wrong hands. Shred all leftover forms and seal your paperwork properly before mailing it to the IRS to protect your personal information.
Errors Made in Preparing Returns
If an error is made when filing your returns, you will be reimbursed for penalties and interest incurred as a result. Make sure to notify your local office within 30 days after a notice is issued and provide the necessary relevant documentation.
If you were entitled to a larger refund on your federal tax returns you will be reimbursed your tax prep fees and given $100. You must, however, file the taxes with a different company and provide proof of acceptance by the IRS of the correct returns within the stipulated time.
Filing taxes at Walmart seems rather convenient, but whether or not it’s a bargain for the consumer is debatable. You do have to pay for the services at the end of the day, just like you would have elsewhere. Some of the charges incurred seem a bit meaningless since they result in little savings being made. One may argue that little savings are better than no savings, which is true, so I wouldn’t advise against it.
Frequently Asked Questions
How fast are tax refunds processed?
The earlier you file your returns the earlier you can get your refund. It also depends on the mode you choose to receive it. Prepaid cards usually take shorter periods in comparison to direct bank account deposits.
How are tax refunds received from Walmart?
You can choose to receive them in cash or by check. Walmart charges a small fee to cash a check depending on the amount. You can also receive your payment in the form of a prepaid card.
How do I access Walmart tax prep services?
You can find all the tax prep services on the Walmart Website including tax forms and tax filing software.
Can Walmart help me if I need help filing my taxes?
Walmart cannot advise you on matters about your taxes. You are, however, advised to contact certified tax professionals such as Jackson Hewitt and H&R Block which also happen to be partners with Walmart.