Businesses Hiring, Taxpayers Procrastinating: Intuit CEO
Special to CNBC.com
More people are filing their taxes digitally than ever before, but they're still dragging their feet to do it, the head of Intuit told CNBC Thursday.
With three weeks to go until this year's April 17 filing date, "what we’re seeing is a continuation of procrastination. It appears more and more of us wait" until the last minute, said Brad Smith, CEO of the maker of tax and accounting software for people and businesses.
"Our data suggest people are continuing to adopt digital software," he added, and it "looks like we’re picking up another point of [market] share this year. I like our prospects for finishing strong."
Intuit data, based on credit card usage, also show small businesses are seeing more customers.
"We help small businesses accept credit cards from their customers, so we can see if they’re getting more customers in the store," Smith explained.
The number of people shopping in Intuit's customers' stores is up about 4 percent year over year on a same-store sales basis, he said.
"Small businesses are feeling good enough about that that they’re starting to hire employees. In fact, our March index suggested they’re hiring at an annual rate of almost 4 percent now in terms of year over year increase, and they’re working more hours and they're paying higher wages," said Smith. "So it's modest, but it's definitely an improvement."
That behavior "gives us the best indication of whether [small businesses are] confident about their future."