H&R Block Losses Widen As Customers Delay Filing

As consumers wait longer to file their taxes, H&R Block is feeling the pinch. It was revealed on Thursday that the long-established tax services company had posted greater-than-expected losses for the last quarter due to consumer delays.  The company is also facing currency headwinds impacting business from overseas.

H&R Block Losses
Photo by pasa47

Typically, H&R Block has posted losses for quarters outside the normal tax season; however, these recent losses revealed a deeper downturn for the same period last year, missing expectations from Wall Street. As a result, shares slipped 5.1% in after-hours trading, leaving the stock at $31.22, which is down 2.5% for the year so far. The company also reported that total U.S. tax returns had slipped more than 6% for the first three quarters of the year.

H&R Block’s chief executive, Bill Cobb, stated that this tax season was being impacted by continual instances of fraud as well as the ongoing trend of returns being filed later in the season by taxpayers. This also causes tax refunds to take longer to process. Cobb also noted that there were significant measured being taken by both the federal and state governments to fight tax fraud, which would create some material changes in the industry.

H&R Block reported a total loss of $81.7 million for the quarter, or 35 cents per share. This is compared to a loss of $36.9 million a year earlier. After adjustments, H&R Block earnings was down 34 cents a share as sales increased by 6.8% to $475 million.