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H&R Block turns to A.I. to tackle your tax return

How would you feel about an artificial intelligence system handling your taxes this year?

HR Block, the tax services company, is betting that customers will be willing to have A.I. assist their human tax preparers in getting them the biggest refunds possible or at least reduce how much they owe.

The company, which has about 12,000 offices in the U.S. and prepares 24.2 million tax returns worldwide, is using IBM’s A.I.-based Watson to do it.

“We are introducing something this tax season that is totally new, and is in fact, a first in the tax preparation category,” said Bill Cobb, HR Block’s president and CEO, in a statement. “By combining 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.”

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