Jackson Hewitt began in 1982 when a group of investors bought 6 Mel Jackson’s Tax Service locations.
The company grew slowly until 1986 when they began to franchise. By 1987, they had added 22 new offices.
In 1989, the company partners with Montgomery Ward to open branch locations inside their stores.
In 1996, John Hewitt leaves the company and is replaced as CEO by Keith Alessi.
In 1998, the company is purchased by the Cendant Corporation.
By 1999, there were 3,000 locations.
On April 3, 2007, the US Justice Department announced that the federal government had filed civil injunction suits alleging tax fraud by five corporations owned or partly owned by Farrukh Sohail, a franchisor. On September 28, 2007, the Department of Justice announced that it had reached settlements with each of the defendants in the case. Under the settlement agreements, the majority owner, Farrukh Sohail, of each of the businesses was to be barred from preparing tax returns for five years, and approximately fifteen of Sohail’s employees were permanently banned from preparing taxes other than their own. Jackson Hewitt states that an internal audit showed that none of their corporate employees knew about the scam which led to the filing by the Justice Department.
In 2011, the company was taken off the NYSE after defaulting on its debt. The company eventually filed bankruptcy and emerged as a private company.
Today, Jackson Hewitt is the 3rd largest tax preparation service in the US. The company operates over 6,800 locations.