H&R Block to close 400 offices, as Americans find new ways to file taxes

|About: H&R Block Inc. (HRB)|By:, SA News Editor

H&R Block (NYSE:HRB) plans to close ~400 U.S. offices, saying online tools and the new tax law have reduced the complexity of filing annual returns for millions of Americans.

The closures make up 4% of HRB’s nearly 10K company-owned and franchise locations in the U.S., but the company does not expect the move to result in job losses, as associates would shift to other locations.

“We aren’t as relevant as we need to be to today’s consumer,” CEO Jeff Jones said during yesterday's earnings conference call, but added that HRB "continue(s) to be the only tax company that can serve clients however they want to be served."

Executives on the call also said HRB would make changes to its pricing for tax preparation to improve its assisted returns business.

Shares plunged 18% in today's trade despite beating earnings and revenue expectations, as the company forecast below consensus FY 2019 revenues and margins slipping to 24%-26%.