updated 3/29/2007 11:02:56 AM ET 2007-03-29T15:02:56

H&R Block Inc. reported Thursday that it has seen a 3.3 percent increase in the number of tax preparation clients so far this tax season.

Major Market Indices

Between Nov. 1 and March 15, the Kansas City-based company said, 14.6 million customers either came into H&R Block offices or filed their tax returns through the company's online and software services, an increase from the 14.1 million customers it recorded through mid-March last year.

H&R Block opened its offices earlier this season to sell tax refund anticipation loans to people who didn't want to wait until they received their W-2 forms. Company officials have said that while they count those customers in their overall numbers, not all of those customers will return to have their taxes prepared.

The number of office visits is only 0.5 percent above the same period last year, with all of the increase coming in the early part of the season.

The number of digital clients, however, has grown 14.1 percent, from 2.9 million to 3.3 million, reflecting a national trend of more people filing their taxes electronically.

On a revenue basis, the company, which generates the bulk of its annual revenue during the tax season, reported $1.8 billion in sales so far this tax season, a 6.5 percent increase from the $1.7 billion generated last year.

The average fee per office tax client has also increased, rising 6.8 percent from $150.06 last year to $160.27 this year.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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