Why eat out when you can feast at home? Originating new home loans during a buoyant mortgage market has given H&R Block (NYSE:HRB) its first-ever second-quarter profit, posting earnings of $0.06 a share on a 23% surge in revenue.

As the country's leading tax-filing specialist, we have always known that H&R Block can blow the roof off its earnings in the April quarter, but posting back-to-back profits in the July and now October periods is enough to make the company's bean counters write off their smiles as appreciable events.

I mean, if this boom keeps going, who knows if the H&R in the company's moniker will start to stand for Home & Remodeling -- or House & Refinancing? (Sixty-one percent of its second-quarter revenue came from its mortgage operations.) So, while folks who frequent our popular Tax Center know H&R Block well, maybe it's time to work up an appropriate introduction to our Home Center as well.

Last week, tax software specialist Intuit (NASDAQ:INTU) posted a small quarterly loss while a 17-year high in new home starts has homebuilders like Lennar (NYSE:LEN), Beazer Homes (NYSE:BZH), and Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL) trading at all-time highs. H&R Block has become that hybrid in the middle -- and it's working.

Last night, the company raised its fiscal-year projections. It is now looking to earn between $3.65 and $3.85 a share this year. That implies bottom-line growth of at least 16%, not too shabby for a company trading at just 14 times the low end of its profit guidance.

While rising interest rates may cool off the purebred housing stocks, H&R Block has its seasonal yet never cyclical tax business to look forward to. As far as homes go, the sturdy one seems to be the one built with Blocks.

April may be at the other end of the calendar, but tax planning is a year-round affair. So, are you making any tax moves before the end of 2003? What changes are in store come 2004? Can you really amortize smiles? All this and more -- in the Tax Strategies discussion board. Only on Fool.com.