Have a Tax Question? Ask a Tax Expert
Hi, my name is Mark. I will be happy to help you with your questions. I am sorry to hear about your situation. Do you have a copy of the 2011 return?
Does your copy contain a letter or invoice regarding the services that they would provide.
I understand. It would be difficult to prove what was said 5 years ago. Does the copy of the 2011 return contain the North Caroline return? How much is owed to North Carolina? How much is interest and penalties?
It is going to be difficult to prove that JH failed to file the NC return. If you have a copy of the return, or an invoice that you paid for the service then you would have a stronger position.
I imagine about $1,500 of this is interest and penalties.
Did you pay to have the North Carolina return prepared? Is their invoice itemized?
You can still file a return even if you owe money (and do not pay). You would file a return to prevent a late file penalty.
Is there anything in what they provided that references a NC return.
It sounds like NC prepared a return for you and then you had JH prepare an amended return. I am sorry but I am not seeing a strong position in holding JH responsible for the late filed return.
Yes, I am still here.
The only other avenue is what you paid for tax preparation consistent for filing a federal and state return?
I do not see what you can prove to show that they failed to file the original return? It does not make sense why they would not file it if you owed money.
Yes, that would demonstrate the JH did extra work associated with the North Carolina return.
I think that is your best shot. It would have been ideal if you had a detailed invoice.
If there is a difference, it would be reasonable to assume that the NC return was the cause for the additional fees. Assuming that your tax situation has not changed over the years. You could hire an attorney to pursue action but at the hopes of only gaining potentially $1500. It may not be the risk of attorney fees. One approach you could take is write a letter to the attorney general of the state explaining the situation. You would want to CC the JH office as well as the corporate office. That would be a cheaper option.
I am not an attorney. Let me opt out and allow you to get another opinion. I think most attorneys would charge a retainer in the $1,000 range. Good luck with everything.
Yes, you could represent yourself in small claims. Another option would be have an attorney prepare a letter. This would be less than suing the JH.
Why don't you just start by asking for the fees to be abated? File the form, send the documentation you have with Jackson Hewitt and see what happens.
Frankly, you could represent yourself and sue them in small claims court. However, they would probably come back arguing that the statue of limitations expired as you have a breach of contract claim and Florida statute is 4 years. Assuming the work was done in 2012, statute ran out in 2016. Although, they might not even respond for such a small amount and you might get a default judgment if they fail to respond.
North Carolina does allow for automatic waivers and a one-time waiver for most people if they can demonstrate cause.