Office open dropped to 2,791 for 2019, down 25 percent from 3,910 for tax season 2017 while the number open in the United States fell to 2,826 for the current tax season, down 35 percent from 3,823 in 2017. The number of Siempre+ offices, a newer chain which serves Spanish-speaking consumers, have also fallen. There were 45 of those offices open when this year's tax season began, down from 159 two years ago.
The results reflect a period of turmoil in which its founder and CEO John Hewitt was fired in September 2017. The company went through a succession of executives and is on its second CEO since Hewitt left. It went through three auditing firms and the changes resulted in delays to filing financial reports that led Nasdaq to delist its stock last month. Its operations have also been under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service for several months
The company was sold to Vintage Tributum in July and an offer from another company, whose name has not been disclosed, was received last year.
While revenue has fallen, the company managed to sharply cut its loss for the third quarter. Liberty lost $310,000 for the most recently ended period, down from a loss of $1.5 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2018. However, revenue fell in line with the decline in officers and the number of returns prepared. Liberty reported revenue of $32.9 million for the most recently ended period, down 32 percent from $48.2 million in last year's corresponding period.
Financial products produced the largest drop in revenue. Liberty recorded revenue of $9.9 million from that category in the third quarter, down 45 percent from $18.1 million a year ago. A variety of reasons were mentioned for this, including the decline in returns prepared.