IBM's Watson wants to help you do your taxes at H&R Block

IBM has aimed its Watson cognitive system at areas such as retail and healthcare and now will work with H&R Block to augment human tax professionals.

IBM Watson can now do your taxes for you

IBM Watson can now do your taxes for you

IBM's Watson is going to start doing taxes via a partnership with H&R Block.

The companies said that H&R Block will apply Watson to tax preparation starting February 6. Tax professionals will use Watson to improve customer service, identify credits and deductions. IBM and H&R Block sais Watson will augment humans.

In addition, H&R Block with Watson will air a Super Bowl commercial in the first quarter to court customers and differentiate in a crowded tax prep field.

Here's how it'll work. Filers will be offered a cognitive interview with Watson, which will use its cloud services to connect the dots between what clients say and areas of their returns.

Watson's tax knowhow will be based on the federal tax code with its 74,000 pages as well as annual tax law changes. H&R Block and IBM trained Watson on tax language, topics and questions that appear during the return filing process.

Tax prep is a natural extension for Watson. IBM has initially targeted Watson at industries where there is a large volume of data to digest. As a result, Watson has been used extensively in healthcare, retail and education.

Going forward, the plan is to expand Watson's knowledge each tax season. H&R Block will use Watson throughout other areas of its business.

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