Intuit reported an increase in TurboTax sales in the early part of tax season, in contrast with preliminary data from the Internal Revenue Service on tax filings.

Intuit Bangalore office

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company reported sales through Feb. 17 of its consumer tax prep software Thursday, saying sales of total TurboTax units increased 1 percent versus the comparable prior-year period. The IRS officially opened tax season Jan. 29, so the results are only for the first three weeks.

In contrast, the most recent IRS data through Feb. 16 indicated the total number of electronically filed returns dipped 1 percent, while self-prepared e-filed returns grew 1 percent, and assisted e-files declined 4 percent. But TurboTax e-filed returns through the same period grew 2 percent.

“Early results this season are positive and aligned with our expectations,” said Dan Wernikoff, executive vice president and general manager of Intuit’s TurboTax business, in a statement. “Through the remainder of the season we are focused on executing well to deliver for our customers.”

Intuit also reported its second-quarter earnings Thursday, with revenue of $1.165 billion, an increase of 15 percent for the quarter. The company said it added approximately 275,000 QuickBooks Online subscribers during the quarter, reaching more than 2.8 million worldwide. Among them, QuickBooks Self-Employed subscribers grew to approximately 490,000, up from 425,000 last quarter, and 180,000 from a year ago.

Season-to-date TurboTax Federal Unit Data




Season through
Feb. 17, 2018
Season through
Feb. 18, 2017
Change
Year-Over-Year
TurboTax Desktop
3,647,000
3,830,000
-5%
TurboTax Online
14,503,000
14,025,000
3%

Sub-total TurboTax

Units

18,150,000
17,855,000
2%

TurboTax Free File

Alliance

415,000
471,000
-12%
Total TurboTax
Units
18,565,000
18,326,000
1%

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Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn, editor-in-chief of AccountingToday.com, has been covering business and technology for a variety of publications since 1985.