KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ H&R Block said Tuesday that preliminary results for this year's tax return season showed revenue from fees for tax preparation and related services increased 12.3 percent over last year.

The fees received by company-owned and franchised offices for the Jan. 1-April 17 period were approximately $1.7 billion.

The number of returns prepared by Block rose 3.6 percent to 15.9 million. In all, counting those who prepared their own returns but filed them electronically through Block offices, Block said it served 16.5 million taxpayers during the season.

The company said more than three-quarters of its clients chose electronic filing, a 13 percent increase.

Block said its average fee per client served was $105.98, up from $96.11 last year.