With tax time right around the corner, Wal-Mart is looking to provide taxpayers with a way to cut costs when preparing their returns. The store announced on Monday its plans to offer free tax filing options to individuals who choose to file the 1040EZ.
Wal-Mart Looks to Expand Financial Services
With many Americans still struggling financially in this tough economy, tax time often offers a way to bring in much-needed money for the family—especially for those who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Wal-Mart stores says its goal is to accommodate low-income Americans by providing them with options to make acquiring their money easier.
Wal-Mart just expanded its financial services by opening Wal-Mart MoneyCenters in stores, allowing customers who are under-served by traditional banks to cash checks, purchase prepaid Visa debit cards and pay bills using CheckFree (a company that allows individuals to pay their bills electronically).
Now, Wal-Mart is taking on another venture to assist individuals who may not have the money to pay tax preparation costs by offering free tax filing options to those using the form 1040EZ.
H&R Block and Jackson-Hewitt Offer Free Tax Filing at Wal-Mart
As a part of its initiative, Wal-Mart has asked Jackson-Hewitt and H&R Block to set up kiosks inside its stores that will provide a number of filing options. There are expected to be roughly 3,050 total kiosks offered in stores, 2,800 from Jackson-Hewitt and 250 from H&R Block.
While some taxpayers may have to pay a fee to use the machines, individuals who qualify to submit 1040EZ forms, which is considered the simplest of all tax forms as it is generally used by single or married taxpayers who claim no dependents and do not itemize deductions, will be able to do so free of charge.
Each of the kiosks found in Wal-Mart will offer a range of tax prep services to customers at all income levels through April 15. Taxpayers will have the option of filing their return then having it deposited to their checking account, directly onto a prepaid WalMart Money Card or requesting a check, which Wal-Mart will cash for $3 or $6, depending on the amount being cashed.
Customers who are eligible for 1040EZ free tax filing will be able to use the Jackson-Hewitt kiosks throughout tax season, while H&R Block kiosks will stop offering the free option after Feb. 29.