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Tax chains at odds over ads

By Kay Bell ·
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Posted: 3 pm ET

The two biggest tax preparation chains in the country are not only dealing with new tax laws and frustrated taxpayers, but they're also squaring off against each other over an advertising campaign.

Jackson Hewitt Tax Service has filed a federal lawsuit against H&R Block seeking an immediate end to what it says are "false, misleading and highly disparaging advertising claims about Jackson Hewitt."  The ads in question are those in which H&R Block says its employees' reviews of previously filed tax returns turned up costly errors.

You've probably seen the television spots where folks reportedly get thousands of dollars back once their returns are given a second look by H&R Block. I don't remember Jackson Hewitt being specifically named in any of the ads I saw, but hey, I tend to zone out when commercials show up (unless it's one for the next Johnny Depp movie).

We'll just have to wait for the court's ruling to see what effect this legal battle between Jackson Hewitt, the number two tax prep chain in the United States, and H&R Block, the overwhelming leader of preparing taxes in storefronts across the country, might have on actual customers. But it does highlight the importance of picking the proper tax preparer.

With the continued growth of confusing tax laws, many of us turn each year to a professional for tax-filing help. Chain services are one option. So are tax attorneys and accountants.

Just as everyone's tax situation is unique, so is everyone's tax professional needs. So don't be in such a hurry to get your taxes done that you pick a  tax preparer who doesn't really understand your tax circumstances.

Sure, it might take a little longer to find the correct tax pro. But the effort could help prevent you from having your own complaints about your tax professional.

Make sure you get all the latest tax news and tips this filing season by subscribing to Bankrate's free Daily Tax Tip newsletter.

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February 09, 2011 at 7:59 am

I moved due to a new job in 2009. I deducted a minimum for moving expenses on my taxes but needed to go back to old location to move more items within that year. Can I deduct additional moving expnses on this years taxes?