Stopped by an HRB tax office this morning in what I would say was a lower income area, and was shocked to see almost all seats taken in the waiting area. Looking at the folks, I noticed mostly what I would classify as Spanish, Puerto Rican et al (no slur on any ethnic groups intended) and wondered..as some posters mentioned, that HRB is losing to folks getting their own tax softwear..Does Turbo Tax, Tax Cut etc come in versions other than English?? Don't remember ads saying anything..And if there is NO version, other than English, these folks are still going to be HRB customers. Does HRB do any report on the Ethnic breakdown of their clients? Seems to me that a great number of folks still will be going to HRB..This stock, while having taken a beating, could still have a good recovery in store for patient investors. IMO..
Did the office you were in have any Hispanic preparers? In our office, we do have one and she has built up a good following while there. Maybe this is what Block should be doing in other office. What you think???
My office has several Spanish/English bi-lingual tax pros, several CSPs that are bi-lingual, and an office manager that is bi-lingual as well.
As of the begining of the season, my district manager has indicated that she plans to change my office to a fully bi-lingual office in the future. Given how the neighborhood is changing in the area, this is probably a smart move on her part given many of the english speaking clients are quickly moving out of the neighborhood.
Too bad for me the ones moving out are many of my clients. I don't plan to come back to my office after the end of the season after being there for 17 years - looking to transfer to a suburban office with clients more likely to need someone with my EA background and experience. By moving out, I figure I also will be opening up slots for those new bi-lingual tax pros the DM will be wanting to move into the office over the next year or two. If everything goes well, it will be a win-win situation for both HRB and myself - HRB will be able to move quickly into supporting a growing market in my current office neighborhood, and I'll finally get a chance to move into an office who will better utilize my skills as well (hopefully close to my home so my commuting will be much less than it is now too).
I'm sitting in an HRB office in what would be a inner-city area (and due to the economy quickly becoming a rather low income area again).
Many of my clients do not have computers, or even user ids and generally work at jobs that are more manual labor intensive, so they may not necessary come anywhere near a computer (outside of maybe a library) where they can do taxes online (and I doubt they would file online at a library given security issues).
Now most of them do have cell phones though - they are rather wired (or wireless) since it fits their somewhat nomatic lifestyles well.
I understand Intuit has a tax service option available for cell phones, though I believe its probably aimed at smart phones today. If that ever gets translated to a level where everyday cellphones could access that software to do simple returns (1040ez, maybe 1040A with only w-2 income and kids on the return - no other deductions, credits et al), then that could start going after this this market rapidly (and yes cell phones apps do support some spanish without much trouble). If they combine it with some sort of RAL-like program (maybe funded out of a partnership with some cash checking places or outfits like Western Union/Moneygram/etc) then this combo could grab enough market share in short order kneecap HRB, JTX and Liberty in lower income areas. I wouldn't be surprised to see someone come up with it inside of a couple years at most, but given all the issues with banks running away from RAL loan funding issues, the financial issues may take longer than the technology advancements to get there.
yes. folks who do not have computers will still go to HRB. As more people own computers they will elect to do their return via the web. When the CEO of HRB gives guidance they will not meet their forecast, that is the kiss of death for the stock. Point is technology is impacting HRB's business model. Can't see how they will recover this year!
More people than one might think have access to computers. I for one, used Taxslayer for a mere $10, including all forms and electronic filing. A real deal, but for a large majority of people that want their refunds immediately, HRB still has the lock on return advance, which is where they make a ton of $$$$