Generative AI is really good at making sense of confusing information and extracting key details, so tax help is a natural help.
Well, H&R Block thinks so, anyway.
According to The Verge, the tax preparation company announced a new tool on Thursday called AI Tax Assist. The generative AI chatbot will be available with paid editions of H&R Block’s Do-It-Yourself tax filing products to help answer questions about tax forms, deductions, specific tax codes and more.
Simplify your taxes with access to an AI assistant and real CPAs for $49
As more businesses look to use generative AI, tax assistance is a brave new application. However, it is worth noting that language models can hallucinate and produce confident-sounding but inaccurate answers. When it comes to filing tax documents, trust and accuracy are extremely important.
A spokesperson for H&R Block told Mashable that AI Tax Assist has been rigorously tested by technical and human models. Plus, he is monitored by a team that monitors his work for accuracy and behavior. Finally, there is a built-in feature for users to provide feedback to improve the system. “H&R Block has 100% accuracy and maximum refund guarantees,” the spokesperson said.
AI Tax Assist also does not pull data from the Internet, only from the H&R Block dataset, which helps ensure quality control. The language model was built with Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI service and trained on H&R Block’s database, which includes its tax research center The Tax Institute and knowledge from 60,000 tax professionals.
H&R Block has had previous controversies over misleading customers into using its services and is facing a class action lawsuit over sharing personal financial information with Google. However, our sister site PCMag (also owned by Ziff Davis) has given its tax preparation software the stamp of approval. That being said, know what you’re getting into if you use H&R Block and its AI tools.
Unfortunately, the free edition of H&R Block’s online tax return does not offer AI Tax Assist. But it comes with the Deluxe Edition which costs $35.
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