Jackson Hewitt Tax Service posted market share gains and positive total revenue growth, including a 4 percent increase in same-store sales through Feb. 24, the prep-chain giant announced.

In what the company described as the “First Season” – the early part of the tax-filing period — Jackson Hewitt outperformed the IRS in the assisted tax prep category with a decline of 3.2 percent in returns filed, compared with an IRS decline of 12.6 percent.

A Jackson Hewitt location

Co-CEO David Prokupek credited the chain’s marketing, which highlighted the benefit of assisted prep over DIY options, the chain’s Express Refund Advance to help clients with delayed refunds, and the “Better Than Free” promotion that combated numerous free offerings in the prep marketplace.

Twice as many Hewitt clients this season received the no-fee, 0-percent APR Express Refund Advance than in 2016. The “Better Than Free” promotion offered taxpayers a $48 fee on simple federal returns, offset by a $50 gift card.

Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson is a veteran freelance journalist who previously served as editor of The Practical Accountant.