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Block Assisted Tax Clients Rose 7 Percent

H&R Block increased the number of assisted tax clients by 7 percent for recently ended tax season. That represented an increase of 700,000 customers, which translated into the best performance in 10 years, CEO Jeff Jones said during this week’s earnings webcast for the year ended April 30.

Comparisons for tax season performance has been complicated by the extension of the 2020 tax season deadline to June 17 and this year’s to May 17.

Block said its system had prepared 21.6 million U.S. returns for fiscal 2021, an increase of 28.9 percent from slightly more than 17 million in fiscal 2020. The 26.9-percent increase is skewed by the difference in deadlines.

“We drove significant growth in DIY revenue and continued strong growth at Wave,” Jones said. He noted the company is also “seeing positive signs in virtual adoption by our assisted customers and we also saw a great uptake of DIY clients requesting human help”

The average net charge per client fell by about 2 percent year-over-year. But Jones said that was entirely due to most new clients being filers at lower price points.

Block reported net income of $590.2 million from continuing operations for the most recently ended year, an increase of 10.5 percent from slightly more than $584 million a year ago. Revenue for 2021 was $3.41 billion, up 29.3 percent from $2.64 billion

Block is also adding an element of complication by changing the end of its fiscal. Year from April 30 to June 30. Fiscal 2022 will begin on July 1 with Block panning to file a Form 10-QT for the transition months of May and June.

The company ended the most recent fiscal year with 10,675 offices worldwide, down 3.1 percent from 11,011 a year earlier. However that reflected a loss of 103 offices in Canada and 43 in Australia, with those two much less populous countries representing 43 percent of the decline. The U.S. total at year’s end was 9,271, off 2 percent from 9,461.

Bob Scott
Bob Scott has provided information to the tax and accounting community since 1991, first as technology editor of Accounting Today, and from 1997 through 2009 as editor of its sister publication, Accounting Technology. He is known throughout the industry for his depth of knowledge and for his high journalistic standards.  Scott has made frequent appearances as a speaker, moderator and panelist and events serving tax and accounting professionals. He  has a strong background in computer journalism as an editor with two former trade publications, Computer+Software News and MIS Week and spent several years with weekly and daily newspapers in Morris County New Jersey prior to that.  A graduate of Indiana University with a degree in journalism, Bob is a native of Madison, Ind
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