CCH said its transmittal of returns is up by 25 percent over last season. These numbers reflect the ProSystem operations only and do not reflect filings by the company's Small Firm Services, which markets TaxWise and ATX, which have a heavy dependence on the RAL business. A Small Firms Services spokesperson, Marie Jung, said her group's efiling rate is also down and speculated on the impact of the major storms over much of the country.
Intuit declined to comment, citing the quiet period preceding its release of quarterly results on February 17. A spokesman for TaxWorks said its results are also down. However, the company attributed that to filers waiting on the Internal Revenue Service to start processing returns with Schedule A attached. Jung said that SFS also believes that Schedule A has been a factor.
Scott Fleszar, VP of strategic marketing for Thomson Reuters, said Schedule A was a major issue.
"We're seeing that early tax return filing volume is down marginally as compared to last year," he said. "But we attribute that almost entirely to the IRS delay in accepting returns with forms affected by the extender provisions, including Schedule A. We expect the floodgates to open on Monday when the IRS begins accepting these returns."