BOSTON – Tax preparation company Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. will pay approximately $187,000 to resolve allegations that it violated Massachusetts consumer protection laws by posting misleading and deceptive advertisements, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
In an assurance of discontinuance filed in Suffolk Superior Court, Jackson Hewitt agreed to provide more than $93,000 in refunds to Massachusetts residents who purchased tax preparation services from locations in Massachusetts. Jackson Hewitt further agreed to a payment of more than $93,000 to the state.
“This company profited from running misleading advertisements that harmed Massachusetts taxpayers,” said AG Healey. “This settlement will provide relief to affected consumers and put tax preparers on notice throughout the upcoming tax season to follow our laws.”
The AG’s Office alleged that from December 2016 through April 2017, certain consumers who used Jackson Hewitt’s tax preparation services at locations in Massachusetts may have received discounts that amounted to less than consumers believed they were entitled to based on advertisements they may have viewed. As part of the settlement, Jackson Hewitt will provide notification to affected Massachusetts customers before the end of January.
AG Healey has taken previous actions to ensure that tax preparers operate in the best interests of their clients. Most recently, the AG’s Office sued a Lowell tax preparer for defrauding clients and keeping refunds.
This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Tiffany Bartz and Legal Analyst Jasmine Jean-Louis, with assistance from Paralegal Michael Beaulieu, all of the AG’s Insurance and Financial Services Division.