Tuesday, December 9, 2014

H&R Block offers 10% bonus to entice more digital clients

James Dornbrook for Business Journal writes: H&R Block Inc. recently launched its redesigned online and software products for do-it-yourself tax filers while revealing a new marketing strategy designed to nab more market share on the digital filing side of the business.

The digital business for H&R Block is a huge battleground, one with lots of opportunity for growth. There were 125.8 million tax returns e-filed with the Internal Revenue Service in 2013, out of 149.22 million overall tax returns received. About 47.95 million of those e-filed returns were done by DIY filers. H&R Block software was used by 4.39 million of those DIY clients, giving it a 9.2 percent market share. The market segment leader, Intuit's Turbo Tax, logged about 29 million filers for a 60.5 percent market share.
H&R Block's strategy this year is to entice DIY filers with a bonus, which will expose them to the new tools in its software.
For tax filers who put at least $100 of their refund on gift cards for retailers such as iTunes, Target, Starbucks, The Home Depot and about 40 others, H&R Block will give a bonus of up to 10 percent. Given that the average refund issued by the IRS last year was about $2,800, that could add up to about $280.
Another new feature of H&R Block's online and software products is a tool called "Refund Reveal." The tool offers DIY filers real-time information as they fill out their returns, to help them understand the impact of how and why their refund increases or decreases depending on how they file.
"This insight into their refund empowers them as DIYers and removes the uncertainty behind how their refund was calculated," Jason Houseworth, H&R Block's president of retail and digital products, said in a release.
H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) also created functionality that allows clients to jump from platform to platform and still complete their taxes, no matter where they are in the process. So a client could start loading information from a laptop at home and finish the process on their mobile phone.
"In this mobile, always-on environment today, our customers expect to be able to start, pause and resume tax preparation at their convenience," Houseworth said in the release. "The new mobile-optimized DIY product will match the tax preparation experience to the lifestyle of each user."


Post a Comment