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Liberty Tax, former Canadian versionLiberty Tax Service reported that the number of tax returns filed by its network through April 17 were up 3 percent over a year ago. That beat far-bigger rival, H&R Block, whose filing numbers were flat. But it trailed the 8-percent increase registered by TaxAct and 4-percent rise for Intuit's TurboTax. However, the overwhelming part of Liberty Tax's growth came from increased online filing, not from its stores.

The company and its franchisees filed 1,888,000 returns through April 17, up 3.3 percent from 1,387,000 in the corresponding period in 2012. The totals were held down by a 25-percent drop in filings through the Free File Alliance, the same kind of fall off reported by other companies. In comparison, Block filed 22 million returns during the season.

In a prepared statement, CEO John Hewitt noted an overall decline in returns reported by the Internal Revenue Service. He said it was the first time in his 44 years in the tax industry that he has seen a national decline in filing in a non-recessionary year. Hewitt said Liberty and the industry had expected a slight increase in the number of returns filed.

Liberty's offices filed 1,737,000 returns, only a .9 percent increase from a year earlier. The number of returns prepared via Liberty's online system hit 115,000 returns, slightly more than double last year's total.

Last modified on Sunday, 02 June 2013
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