H&R Block (HRB) Says Total U.S. Tax Returns Fell 0.9%

April 25, 2013 4:06 PM EDT
H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) released its U.S. tax return volume through April 18. Total U.S. returns decreased 0.9(1) percent compared to the prior year to 22.0 million.

"The industry experienced unprecedented delays and changes to the timing of taxpayer filings this tax season which created significant challenges," said Bill Cobb, H&R Block's president and chief executive officer. "I am pleased that we remained focused and executed well as we closed the tax season. We remain committed to our long-term growth initiatives for fiscal 2014 and beyond," added Cobb.

Total tax returns prepared through the company's H&R Block At Home" digital products increased 3.2 percent through April 18, led by strong online unit growth of 10.4 percent. Total U.S. assisted returns prepared fell 2.8 percent due in part to lower overall IRS filings than expected as well as changes in the company's Free Federal 1040EZ promotion, which was offered for a limited time through February 15 this tax season.

Based on available data through April 18, the company's preliminary analysis suggests that its share of total U.S. tax returns was essentially flat compared to the prior year as share gains of approximately 50 basis points in the digital online category were offset by an approximate 30 basis point decline in share in the assisted category.

"By executing on our strategic initiatives, we continue to strengthen our position in the key digital online category. Our overall mix of digital clients improved this year and we gained online market share for the third consecutive year," said Cobb.

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