H&R Block’s early-season turnaround strategy includes interest-free refund advances

In an attempt to attract more early-season tax filers — a sore point last tax season — H&R Block Inc. is teaming up with several financial institutions to offer interest-free refund advance loans to clients.

The Kansas City-based tax preparer said the new offering is part of an attempt to “increase relevancy with early-season clients and to arrest client decline.”

The move comes after the company saw its early-season tax preparation volumes drop 12.1 percent last tax season, according to its fiscal third-quarter earnings, and then saw full fiscal-year earnings drop by $103 million. H&R Block’s management team said the losses were partially due to increased competition for early-season client from independent tax preparers. They also lost business to digital tax market leader TurboTax finding great success with its Absolute Zero promotion, which allowed clients to file simple federal and state tax returns for free.

The interest-free Refund Advance loan is being offered by H&R Block through a partnership with MetaBank, Specialty Consumer Services LP and BofI Federal Bank.

Read more: Kansas City Business Journal

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