Through February 16, TaxAct return starts were down about 20 percent while efiles were down 11 percent from the 2019 season. Walters made the comment for the recent earnings webcast for the year ended December 31.
“We were a bit out of position to start the season,” he said. “We delayed our ramp up in marketing spend compared to last year.” Marketing problems included not having enough offers in the market. “We had fewer thing in place to test and scale than you would ideally want,” he said.
For the year, the company reported net income of $48.1 million for 2019, down 5 percent from $187.3 million for the prior year. Total revenue rose to $717.9 million, up 28 percent from $560.5 million the prior year. TaxAct revenue for 2019 was $210 million, which represented a 12-percent increase over 2018's $187.3 million. Wealth management revenue hit $508 million, rising from $373.2 million, a 36-percent jump. The increased wealth management revenue reflected the purchase of 1st. Global, which has been combined with the former HD Vest as Avantax.