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H&R BLOCK announces Tax season results through MARCH 31


KANSAS CITY, Mo. H&R Block Inc. (NYSE: HRB) today reported tax season results for the interim periods March 16-31, 2008 and Nov. 1, 2007 March 31, 2008. Excluding lending-products-only clients, Economic Stimulus Package (ESP) rebate filers, and the impact of an additional day due to leap year, retail clients served were estimated to be up 4.8 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively, over the prior year.

Total reported retail client growth for the March 16-31 period was 10.5 percent, of which approximately 5.8 percent was related to ESP filers. Year-to-date through March 31, total reported retail clients grew 4.2 percent of which 1.5 percent is estimated to be related to ESP filers and 1.1 percent is due to the leap year day.

The reported decrease in net average retail fee for March 16-31 was 4.8 percent, but would have decreased approximately 0.7 percent excluding ESP filers. Year-to-date, the reported increase in net average retail fee was 4.3 percent and would have been approximately 5.4 percent without ESP. The year-to-date increase in net average retail fee has moderated from 5.5 percent reported through March 15. The Company believes that this slowing of the rate of pricing growth reflects ESP filers at lower prices who would not otherwise have filed, as well as an acceleration of lower complexity returns typically filed in April into the second half of March.

ESP filers are individuals who would not otherwise be required to file an income tax return, but who are filing in 2008 in order to be eligible to receive rebate checks under the ESP program. The company is offering special low fees to ESP filers, which affects calculations of average fees.

Digital clients served were up 31 percent in the March 16-31 period and down 3.2 percent year-to-date through March 31, representing a significant improvement from a decline of 6.5 percent for the year-to-date period ending March 15.

H&R Block plans to release interim results through April 15 for its U.S. tax operations on May 12, 2008 before the NYSE market open.


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