Kansas City, Mo. (May 3, 2002) -- H&R Block Inc.'s tax business reported record results for the entire tax filing season.

Block's fees for tax preparation and related services jumped 10.5 percent over last year to $2 billion. The firm served a record 18.1 million clients, an increase of 2.7 percent over the prior year, according to preliminary results for the period Jan. 1 through April 15.

The number of returns filed electronically through April 15 rose 7.9 percent to 15.4 million. E-filed returns accounted for more than 85 percent of all federal returns processed by Block this year, compared to 81 percent last year. Driven by the growing complexity of clients' tax situations, the average fee for tax preparation and related services jumped 9 percent over the prior year, to $121.52.

The company said earnings for fiscal year 2002 (ended on April 30) are expected to be at the high end of its previously announced range of $2.20-to-$2.30 per share. Block expects earnings per share for fiscal year 2003 to increase to a range of $2.60-to-$2.75. H&R Block previously said it expected revenue growth to be 10-to-15 percent for the year, with fiscal year earnings of $2.20-to-$2.30 per share, an increase of 45-to-50 percent over last year. Block will announce final results for the year on June 12.

-- Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

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