H&R Block Releases New AI-Powered Tax Assistant Chatbot!

H&R Block Releases New AI-Powered Tax Assistant Chatbot!

H&R Block launched an AI-powered tax assistant, AI Tax Assist, to answer users’ tax questions. It provides info on deductions, tax rules, etc. and directs people to human experts for personalized advice. AI Tax Assist aims to keep users on H&R Block’s platform rather than searching online. It comes with paid DIY tax software subscriptions, starting at $35.

Overview of AI Tax Assist

Tax prep company H&R Block released a new conversational AI chatbot that answers taxpayer questions called AI Tax Assist. Accessed through paid versions of H&R Block’s DIY tax software, AI Tax Assist lets users ask questions on tax rules, possible exemptions, and other tax-related issues.

Key Capabilities

AI Tax Assist also points people to a human tax expert for more personalized advice, though the company said it is working on supporting AI-powered personalized advice as well. In a demo, the company showed how users with complicated tax filing statuses — say a gig worker — can start their tax returns. They can then ask AI Tax Assist for information like, “What can I deduct as business expenses as an Uber driver?” The AI will provide a list of allowed deductions, and the user can choose to use that list or not in the final filing.

Building User Trust

H&R Block will show a banner informing users that the feature is powered by AI and offer sample prompts. The company said customers want to be informed that a feature uses AI to help build trust. It added that part of the reason they’re confident people will use the feature is the trust customers have built with H&R Block.

Encouraging Tax Understanding

The company said that it found users don’t simply want to be told what to do with their taxes but instead want to understand how their tax filing works. AI Tax Assist offers information on different kinds of tax exemptions and how other assets, like cryptocurrency, are treated under the tax code.

Providing an Alternative to Search Engines

Chris Linderwell, vice president of consumer tax products at H&R Block, said during a briefing that many users often turn to Google when they’re confused about how to file their taxes. AI Tax Assist aims to provide an alternative by encouraging users to stay on H&R Block’s platform when seeking tax answers instead.

Personalization Over Time

“We want to empower customers to ask questions as deep as they want, and over time, we can give more personalized answers to their questions on our platform through AI Tax Assist,” Linderwell said.

Accessibility and Pricing

H&R Block said that while AI Tax Assist is not available on the free version of its app, it will not increase the prices of its subscription tiers that will have access to the conversational AI platform. Its paid plans start at $35.

Building With Reputable AI Providers

H&R Block built AI Tax Assist with models from OpenAI and Microsoft. The company emphasized that it trained only on H&R Block’s library of tax laws and refined with the help of its many accountants, lawyers, and other tax professionals. It said the model did not pull from the internet.

Mimicking Human Experts

Linderwell said the feature was built to only answer with specific H&R Block content. H&R Block, which does still operate brick-and-mortar tax services, hopes that AI Tax Assist feels a lot like speaking to one of its human accountants.

Recourse for Incorrect Information

If people have concerns over the AI-provided answers, the company said their team of live human experts can also provide their services via phone.

Of course, there is always the possibility of hallucinations that produce false information — and in tax preparation, the stakes are unusually high. While no company can yet guarantee AI will not hallucinate, H&R Block said users can double check information with a human. It also has a team that monitors the model for accuracy and that it behaves the way it was designed.

Privacy and Security

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 is built with Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service and trained on H&R Block’s data.

Context on H&R Block

H&R Block has had past controversies about misleading customers into using its services and faced a class action lawsuit about sharing personal financial information with Google. That said, PCMag has given its tax prep software approval. Know what you’re getting into if you use H&R Block and its AI tools.


AI Tax Assist represents H&R Block’s push into AI for providing tax guidance. While not without risks like potential inaccuracies, it leverages trusted AI providers and taps into H&R Block’s tax expertise. Users should understand its capabilities and limitations. But it offers convenience in resolving tax questions digitally.

What does AI Tax Assist do?

AI Tax Assist is a conversational AI assistant that answers common tax questions for H&R Block customers related to tax deductions, credits, cryptocurrency taxes, and more. It aims to provide helpful tax information to users.

Is AI Tax Assist available for free?

No, AI Tax Assist comes with paid versions of H&R Block’s DIY tax filing software. The feature is not included in the free tier. Access starts at $35 with a Deluxe subscription.

What should I do if AI Tax Assist is inaccurate?

H&R Block advises users to connect with their team of human tax experts via phone if they have any concerns with the accuracy of AI Tax Assist’s answers. Human oversight helps provide quality control and personalized advice.

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