H&R Block and IBM Collaborate on the Tax Preparation Process
by Tech Mainstream Staff
February 2, 2017
H&R Block is uniting with IBM's Watson* to produce "a new, exclusive, consumer-facing experience," altering the current 60 year old category. The move "represents the first time Watson will be applied to tax preparation, enabling millions of filers to benefit from the industry-leading expertise of H&R Block’s tax professionals, who will now partner with Watson to improve the client experience and aid in identifying credits and deductions."
With a federal tax code of 74,000 pages and thousands of tax law changes per year the H&R Block/IBM combination is essential. By joining "the human expertise, knowledge and judgment of our tax professionals with the cutting-edge cognitive computing power of Watson, we are creating a future where our clients will benefit from an enhanced experience and our tax pros will have the latest technology to help them ensure every deduction and credit is found."
The cloud-based Watson services are available this tax season for the first time and are intended to "maximize client refunds or reduce their tax liabilities." In a company statement, IBM emphasized its enthusiasm for the consortium, “We’re excited to see H&R Block’s tax professionals, leaders in their field, join their expertise with Watson to enhance the client experience and help millions of individuals file their returns during tax season.”
Sources: http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/51505.wss and http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/presskit/27297.wss
* "Watson is the first commercially available cognitive computing capability, representing a new era in computing. Watson analyzes high volumes of data and processes information more like a human than a computer—by understanding natural language, generating hypotheses based on evidence, and learning as it goes."