(Reuters) - Tax preparer H&R Block Inc (HRB.N) said its share of tax returns prepared so far this year has remained essentially flat, compared with a year earlier, sending its stock down 9 percent after the bell.
The company assisted 22 million U.S. clients file their taxes through April 18, down about 1 percent from a year earlier, due to the delayed start to the tax season.
Returns filed using the company’s online platform rose 10 percent during the period. However, the gain was offset by a 3 percent reduction in assisted returns.
The Internal Revenue Service delayed the start of the tax filing season to account for the enactment of tax law changes made to resolve the “fiscal cliff”.
“The industry experienced unprecedented delays and changes to the timing of taxpayer filings this tax season, which created significant challenges,” Chief Executive Bill Cobb said in a statement.
H&R Block has been realigning its focus to its core tax preparing business after several years of losing market share to do-it-yourself tax filing services like Intuit Inc’s (INTU.O) Turbo Tax.
H&R Block shares were down at $25.50 in extended trading. They closed at $28.03 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.
Intuits shares fell 11 percent on Thursday after the company lowered its third-quarter revenue outlook, citing a difficult tax season.
Reporting by Aman Shah in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel