H&R Block To Cut 350 Jobs; Close 200 Offices

According to the Kansas City Business Journal, Kansas City-based H&R Block Inc., plans to eliminate 350 jobs companywide, cull about 200 “underperforming” offices and shrink its seasonal work force.

Block’s stock was down nearly 13% after the announcement was made.

The job cuts and closing of 200 offices will contribute to a pretax charge of about $30 million, or 6 cents a share, the firm said. “These steps are necessary so we can create a stronger company, invest in our future, and produce greater value for our clients and shareholders,” CEO Bill Cobb said in the statement. “These actions will allow us to compete more effectively.”

Block indicated that it had a record-setting tax season. The total number of U.S. returns prepared through April 18 reached a record 22.2 million, up 4.5% compared to the prior-year.

In addition to the downsizing, Block announced a realignment of the organization, Phil Mazzini, president of Retail Tax Services, resigning from the company effective April 30, 2012. The company has begun the process of finding a new CFO, with the current CFO, Jeff Brown, remaining in the role he took over more than a year ago until a replacement is found and then transitioning into the role of chief accounting and risk officer.

According to the Kansas City Star, Block said revenues will be about $2.9 billion, below the $3.1 billion average estimate of analysts in the Bloomberg survey and a 23% drop from fiscal 2011.