H&R Block reported that the total number of tax returns prepared as of April 15 fell by 667,000, or 3.1 percent, compared to last year, excluding economic stimulus filers, but Block still earned a record amount on fees.

Aggregate tax prep fees at Block’s retail operations increased 0.5 percent to $2.82 billion, an all-time high, the company reported. Meanwhile, total retail returns fell 5.7 percent compared to the prior-year period, while the net average fee per retail return prepared increased 6.7 percent.

H&R Block Online returns grew 45.5 percent, while total digital returns prepared by H&R Block (both software such as TaxCut and H&R Block Online, excluding Free File Alliance returns) jumped 21.5 percent.

Total digital returns, including those through the Free File Alliance, grew 4.4 percent. The company plans to report its fourth quarter and fiscal 2009 results on June 23, 2009.

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