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Filing your taxes this year may include more AI

Meghan McCarty Carino Apr 15, 2024
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Intuit and H&R Block introduced dueling AI assistants late last year, but experts say they're not wholly reliable. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Filing your taxes this year may include more AI

Meghan McCarty Carino Apr 15, 2024
Heard on:
Intuit and H&R Block introduced dueling AI assistants late last year, but experts say they're not wholly reliable. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

This Tax Day, payers in 12 states have the opportunity to use a pilot IRS system to directly file their taxes online. For now, it can only handle the most straightforward of tax scenarios, like people with W-2 incomes taking the standard deduction.

Still, the move has amped up the competition for tax software companies like Intuit and H&R Block. Now, the private sector is turning to generative artificial intelligence to give products an edge.

Late last year, Intuit and H&R Block introduced dueling AI assistants.

“Mostly, you know, kind of support, self-service intelligence rather than ‘click a button, fill your taxes out for you?'” said analyst Alex Zukin at Wolfe Research.

Both AI tools are built on large language models like ChatGPT but trained on tax sources, he said.

Intuit’s assistant acts as more of a guide, creating checklists or scanning for missing information, while H&R Block’s is more of a customer support chatbot.

“But since the technology is new, we cannot fully rely on that,” said Subodha Kumar, who heads the Center for Business Analytics and Disruptive Technologies at Temple University, which has tested the tools. 

He found they sometimes provided irrelevant information and couldn’t answer complex questions. 

Both platforms will connect users with a human to assist when needed, and the companies offer accuracy guarantees.

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