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What the H&R Block CEO expects for the 2024 tax season

Tax preparation service H&R Block (HRB) topped Wall Street expectations in its fiscal first-quarter results. Revenue for the quarter was $183.8 million, up 2% from the prior year. H&R Block CEO Jeff Jones sits down with Yahoo Finance anchors Brad Smith and Seana Smith to discuss the results and the firm's expectations for 2024 tax season.

Jones discussed how H&R Block is navigating higher wage pressures: "Our tax professionals are not paid hourly, so as our business grows, we pay them more. It's variable with the growth of the business. So, that's a bit of a uniqueness that people oftentimes forget, given how many frontline employees we actually have."

For more expert insight and the latest market action, click here to watch this full episode of Yahoo Finance Live.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: Going off the fact that you think that you're well positioned, we're still in this higher rate environment, inflationary environment. How are you adjusting your spending, your costs in order to best position H&R Block?

JEFF JONES: Yeah. Seana, I mean, it really starts with just the mindset of efficiency in the company. Whether it's this year or next year or the year after. Really trying to maximize the value of every dollar we invest in the business. That is what the team has been doing incredibly well. We see inflation like every organization sees inflation.

But maybe unlike other businesses with large retail footprints, our tax professionals are not paid hourly. So as our business grows, we pay them more. It's variable with the growth of the business. So that's a bit of a uniqueness that people oftentimes forget given how many frontline employees we actually have.

BRAD SMITH: When you think about the customers that are continuing to come to the business, looking for just any type of tax advice that they can get or adjustment help. Where are you seeing small businesses also looking for that assistance right now?

JEFF JONES: It's really a common theme for consumers and small businesses, Brad. I mean, if you're a hard working American and every dollar matters and you know you're getting a refund but you want confidence that you're getting the best outcome, well, that's also true if you're a small business owner.

One of the things we see small business owners trying to do is wear all of these hats, as opposed to let the experts do, what we do best, and allow them to focus on running their business. But the dynamics remain the same. They're looking for the best outcome possible and the best advice possible. And that's where we feel very well positioned with our Block advisors brand.

SEANA SMITH: Jeff, going into tax season just a few months away, at this point it's kind of hard to believe, but how is your strategy going into next year going into April? How does that compare to what you saw or what you were doing a year ago?

JEFF JONES: Well, we are expecting this to be a normal tax season. And we have not had a normal tax season now for many years from the pandemic and tax filing deadlines moving. This year as we sit here today, our preparation is generally the same, but our expectation-- there's no major legislative changes. We think all the stimulus filers are behind us. And so we're really well prepared for what we hope to be a normal tax season. And that's our expectation.

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