AI Tax Assist from H&R Block stuffs a chatbot into your tax prep package

Key Takeaways:

– H&R Block has developed a tool called AI Tax Assist, powered by Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service, to help with tax preparation.
– The tool leverages H&R Block’s expertise in tax laws and their team of tax professionals to answer users’ questions about tax deductions and expenses.
– H&R Block has also introduced a new tool to simplify importing last year’s tax returns from competitors.
– Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service provides prebuilt and curated models to ensure responsible AI implementation.
– The AI tool does not file or fill out forms but provides answers to tax-related questions.
– However, there are concerns about the reliability of AI-generated answers and the potential for hallucinations or incorrect information.
– The key to improving accuracy is having reliable training data and staying up-to-date with the latest tax law changes.
– H&R Block’s AI tool provides prompts, information, and links to help users find more information about their tax questions.
– Live tax professionals are also available for additional assistance.
– Privacy is a significant concern, and H&R Block assures users that their data will not be stored or used by others.
– The AI tool can understand and respond to natural language, making it more accessible to users.
– The goal is to use technology to make tax preparation more accessible and user-friendly.

TechRadar:

Like a spoonful of mustard or mayonnaise — or perhaps you prefer sriracha? — it seems no software recipe is complete these days without a dollop of generative AI. The groundbreaking technology plays games better than you, writes songs for you … heck, it can even be your girlfriend (to each their own). And now it can help you with life’s most vexing challenge: taxes.

In mid-December, H&R Block quietly announced AI Tax Assist, a generative AI tool powered by Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service. The new offering leverages the tax giant’s decades of experience in tax prep and leans on its stable of more than 60,000 tax pros to answer your thorniest questions about U.S. and state tax laws: Can I deduct this new laptop? Is this a personal expense or a business one? How many roads must a man walk down, before travel is officially part of his job?

We see AI as one of the defining technologies of our time.

Sarah Bird, Responsible AI, Microsoft

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AI Eclipse TLDR:

H&R Block has introduced AI Tax Assist, a generative AI tool powered by Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service, to help individuals with their tax-related queries. The tool leverages H&R Block’s experience in tax preparation and its team of tax professionals to answer questions about US and state tax laws. The AI technology provides prompts, information, and links to help users navigate tax theory, clarify tax terms, and understand specific tax rules. However, H&R Block emphasizes that the tool does not file or fill out tax forms, and live human tax professionals are available to provide assistance. The company also addresses privacy concerns by ensuring that the AI assistant does not retain user information. H&R Block aims to make tax preparation more accessible and convenient by incorporating AI into its services.