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TheStreet Open House

Wal-Mart Will File Your Taxes for Free

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Wal-Mart (WMT) will offer free preparation and filing of 1040EZ returns in many of its locations this tax season, the company said Monday.

The move builds on several services the retailer already offers to low-income and unbanked consumers at its in-store Money Centers, which already include check cashing, bill pay and direct deposit of funds onto a store-branded prepaid debit card.

Wal-Mart will offer free preparation and filing of 1040EZ returns in many of its locations this tax season.

1040EZ forms are typically used by taxpayers with very straightforward returns, meaning they have no dependents and do not need to itemize deductions.

The free filings are being provided by H&R Block (HRB) at their 250 in-store kiosks through Feb. 29. They will also be provided at Jackson Hewitt (JHTXQ) kiosks throughout tax season, and Jackson Hewitt will add approximately 800 kiosks to local Wal-Mart stores to bring its total to 2,800 this tax season.

>>Broken Heart, Broken Budget

"Customers need to make every dollar count in this tough economy, and that's why we're committed to helping customers pay less for their financial services during tax season and throughout the year," Daniel Eckert, vice president of Wal-Mart Financial Services, said in a press release.

Consumers also have the option of having their tax refunds (should they get them) loaded onto a prepaid card offered by Wal-Mart. It'll waive fees on the card if a customer loads $1,000 or more onto it.

Last year, the average tax return was $3,129.

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