Jackson Hewitt no longer offers tax refund loans as of 2015, reports Fox Business. Federal regulators discontinued them in 2012 due to the non-compliance of tax preparers with state laws and federal regulations. Instead, Jackson Hewitt offers an alternative called an assisted refund, which taxpayers can opt for during tax preparation.
A Jackson Hewitt assisted refund is similar to a refund anticipation check, which is a short-term loan of the fee for tax preparation, according to Fox Business. The tax preparer charges no upfront fees but opens a temporary bank account for the client's anticipated tax return. When the return arrives, Jackson Hewitt takes out the tax preparation fee along with other fees and sends the balance to the client by direct deposit, check or prepaid Visa card. A client who opts for the prepaid card pays a monthly fee for its use and a fee for every card transaction.
Taking advantage of free tax assistance for low-income households, filing taxes electronically and receiving refunds via direct deposit can enable tax payers to obtain their full tax refunds as quickly as with refund anticipation checks, reports USA Today. The IRS offers free online tax preparation through software and tax company partners for taxpayers with annual incomes of less than $60,000 as of 2015, states Bankrate.