Tennessee-Based Operator Named 2012 Franchise of the Year

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Growing the operation from three offices in 2001 to 75 in 2012, RRD Financial Services, Inc., based in Tennessee, and run by David Elkins, was recently named Jackson Hewitt’s 2012 Franchisee of the Year. But that’s not the only reason David’s franchise was selected as this year’s winner.

“At the end of every tax season,” said Phil Sanford, CEO, “we analyze the data and zero in on our operators that have demonstrated superior performance in key areas of their business such as growth, territory development, client service, and community involvement. We also look for individuals that embody leadership qualities and serve as a role model of success that others can emulate. For not only meeting the requirements, but exceeding them, we were happy to recognize RRD Financial Services, Inc., as our Franchise of the Year.”

David has literally grown up in this business. He’s performed at every level of the tax preparation business, starting as a tax preparer in college, which helps him to understand the business inside and out. Within the entire Jackson Hewitt community, he is known as a solutions-oriented operator and successful entrepreneur, always willing to share his ideas and volunteer his time to help improve the business. Throughout his employee base, David is known as a leader who includes his entire team in decisions, respecting and valuing their input, as well as a hands-on, community-minded leader.

Congratulations David!

Making Home Improvements Could Benefit You at Tax Time

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If you’re thinking of sprucing up your home before the holiday season or prior to putting it up for sale, make sure you know the potential tax implications. Work on your home can be put into two categories: Home Improvements and Home Repairs.

When you make a change to your home that increases its value, it is considered a home improvement. Examples include: roof replacement, adding or removing a pool, replacing carpeting, installing wood flooring, and replacing kitchen cabinets. The cost of improvements to your main home are not deductible at the time the improvements are made, but can be added to the original cost of your to reduce any potential profit when you sell your home, thereby reducing the taxes you would owe on the sale. While you own your home, be sure to keep good records of the cost of improvements you make that add value to your home.

On the other hand, a home repair is maintenance that is done on your home to keep up its condition and is not tax deductible when the home is your primary residence. Repairs include repairing damaged or broken items, such as: fixing a portion of your roof, painting, wallpapering or sanding, refinishing wood floors and re-grouting tile. These types of repairs are regarded as regular maintenance.

Jackson Hewitt Remembers September 11, 2001

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Eleven years ago today, our nation suffered a tragedy of unfathomable proportions. Our very way of life was shaken to the core, and thousands of innocent lives were lost; our lives were forever changed.

Today, the best homage we can pay to the memory of those we have lost is to comfort those we still have, and to thank the heros who have put their lives on the line every day since September 11, 2001, in support of our freedom and our safety.

Let's continue to stand together, stand tall, and stand proud.

- Phil Sanford, President and CEO


As Your Life Changes, So Does Your Tax Return

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If you’re planning a wedding, painting a nursery, or bringing your “baby” to visit colleges, the last thing you’re thinking about is filing your taxes. But that’s why you have us, to remind you! Life changes can cause some of the best tax benefits and tax deductions there are, and they’re much more common than you might think. But missing one could leave tax dollars on the table and out of your pocket.  Adding a dependent, or a spouse, for example, to your return does not automatically qualify you for new deductions and credits, so you should be aware of what is available to you. As your life changes throughout the year, it’s a good idea to review your tax situation to make sure you don’t end up with any surprises come tax time.

For instance:

Did you get married this year? Now that you’re married, filing a joint return will give you higher standard deductions, lower tax rates, and give you two exemptions of $3,800 a piece, even if only one of you worked. You can still file separately, but you’ll lose the benefit of claiming tax credits and deductions that are available to you as a married couple. Plus, you lose your spouse’s exemption and you are generally in a much higher tax bracket.

Did you bring home a baby?
Having, or adopting, a child can significantly reduce your tax liability, not just your sleep! As a parent you may be entitled to a dependent exemption of $3,800 per child as well as a $1,000 Child Tax Credit for each dependent child under the age of 17. If you’re married, and you and your spouse work, you may also be entitled to a credit of up to $2,100 for daycare expenses for children under age 13.

Did you become the primary caretaker for Mom or Dad?
If so, you may be able to claim your parent(s) as a dependent. If you are paying their medical expenses, or nursing home expenses, you may be able to claim them on your tax return. If you work, you may even qualify for a credit for the expense of home health care, senior daycare, or care in your home.

Did you change jobs, receive a promotion, increase your 401(k) contributions, or become self-employed?
The expenses of looking for a new job, such as 55.5 cents per mile for driving to job interviews, employment agencies and headhunters may be claimed on your tax return.  You may also be able to claim the expenses you have for creating a resume, contacting potential employers long-distance, and out-of-town travel. 

If you were promoted this year, you may need to increase your withholdings so you do not owe come tax time. Conversely, if you have increased your contributions to a 401(k), you may want to reduce your withholdings to get more money in your paycheck, instead of a large refund at tax time. 

If you started your own business you need to be sure you are keeping records of the miles that you are driving for your business and the expenses you have from pens to employee benefits.

Did you become a homeowner?
If you purchased, sold, or arranged a short-sale of a home, there are things to consider come tax time. While most costs associated with the purchase or sale of a home are not directly deductible, they can be used to adjust the basis of your home to keep your gain below the $250,000 ($500,000 if married filing jointly) tax exempt amount when you sell. The mortgage interest and real estate taxes you pay each year for your home may be deductible on your tax return. 

So, if you have had a “life changing” year, you’ll want to make sure you take the time to review how it all affects your tax return, it could save you a lot of time and money when you file your tax return in 2013.